30 best NHL players of the 21st century: 11. Henrik Lundqvist
Henrik Lundqvist was the man in the most famous city in the world for the better part of two decades. Lundqvist started his career in 2005, and he’s been the starter for the New York Rangers. He always received votes for the Vezina, and he finished in the top three five different times, winning once in 2012.
That season, he led the New York Rangers to the President’s Trophy. He went to the Conference Finals, and it looked like they were ready to take the next step and end the close-to-20-year Stanley Cup drought on Broadway. He even took his team to the Final in 2014, but he ended up losing the series in overtime.
Lundqvist was not able to put up a Stanley Cup-winning season for the Rangers, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. He’s had a save percentage over .910 in every season outside the last two. He’s never had a quality start percentage under .500. He broke a .920 save percentage in the playoffs six times. He posted three playoff shutouts in 2012 before running into a wall in the New Jersey Devils.
He’s led the league in shutouts twice, the two years he broke double digits. This era doesn’t see a lot of shutouts, so for him to do it more than ten times is incredibly impressive. He will always be compared to the best of this era, and he deserves to be right near the top. There aren’t many goalies who can match his accomplishments.