This was originally submitted to and published by The Hockey News, ESPN.com, and MSN.ca on Monday March 26.
His follow-up to his outstanding rookie campaign has been disappointing to say the least, but don’t close the book on Henrik Lundqvist just yet. The New York Rangers goaltender is quickly turning his numbers into the lofty standards that he set last season, putting together a streak in which he is 8-1-2.
King Henrik has allowed one goal or less in eight of those 11 contests and he has watched all of his statistics take a dramatic turn for the better. Suddenly, his goals against average is within shouting distance of the leader and his save percentage has moved into the top 10 in the league.
Since Christmas, Lundqvist has done everything that fantasy owners imagined for him. He has started every game except one, or 42 of 43 contests, and it is only his poor start that is keeping him from being talked about in the same sentence as New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur and Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo.
If you recall that the 25-year-old began the campaign with a 5-5 record with a brutal save percentage of 0.878 and a goals against average of 3.57. Since then, he has allowed four or more goals in just six of 54 games – obviously a key reason for his 29-16-7 since then.
Lundqvist’s first 40-win season is a lock for next season, barring injury. He is a top five netminder in any keeper league and he is the single greatest reason that the Rangers are in the thick of the playoff race…
San Jose sophomore Milan Michalek has 14 points in his last nine contests. He also began the season with 23 points in his first 21 games. The 22-year-old just needs to work on his consistency and he will become a solid 80- to 85-point player. He put up 23 points in 42 games in between tho