Ten years ago, the New York Rangers had a stud prospect who was supposed to be the team’s goalie of the future. But Al Montoya, the sixth pick in the 2004 draft, never played a single game for the team.
The reason Montoya fell by the wayside was the surprising emergence of an unheralded seventh-round draft pick named Henrik Lundqvist, who came out of nowhere to usurp Montoya on the depth chart and then Kevin Weekes as the Rangers’ No. 1 goalie early in his rookie season.
On Sunday, Lundqvist, the goalie who was never supposed to play a game for the Rangers, played his 667th career regular-season game with the Blueshirts. This moved Lundqvist past Mike Richter for the most career games played for a goalie in the Rangers’ 90-year history.
|Most Career Games, Rangers Goalies|
|1. Henrik Lundqvist||667||2005-|
|2. Mike Richter||666||1989-2002|
|3. Lorne “Gump” Worsley||582||1953-1963|
|4. Ed Giacomin||538||1966-1975|
|5. John Vanbiesbrouck||449||1982-1993|
Lundqvist celebrated the occasion by turning in a vintage Lundqvist effort: he stopped 21 of 22 shots and would’ve had a shutout if not for Brayden Schenn’s goal with 10 seconds remaining in the third period, when the game was already in hand.
By picking up his 367th career victory, Lundqvist moved past the NHL’s all-time winningest goalie, Martin Brodeur, for career wins through 667 career appearances.
Granted, Brodeur didn’t have the benefit of shootouts up until this point (Brodeur’s 667th career game came in 2003).
But still, Lundqvist’s pace is astounding and should eventually lead him to the Hockey Hall of Fame. And if he keeps it up, toward eventually breaking some of Brodeur’s records.