Lundqvist the right masked man to lead Rangers franchise in wins
With the Blueshirts, Richter accomplished a ton. He was an NHL All-Star three times (1992, 1994, 2000), was an All-Star Game most valuable player (1994) was twice the team's most valuable player (2000 and 2002), and more importantly, helped slay a 54-year curse in 1994 when he helped the team win their first Stanley Cup since 1940.
Richter also held several Rangers' franchise records. His 42 wins in the 1993-94 season are the most by a Rangers' goaltender in the regular season; his 666 games played is still a franchise record for most games played by a Rangers' masked man; and just a few weeks ago, he was the Rangers' all-time winningest goaltender with 301 career victories.
Don't look now, but Richter's name is no longer at the top of the team's all-time win list for a goaltender. That record now belongs to a goaltender that has done everything and more for this franchise since joining them in the 2005-06 season.
That goaltender is Henrik Lundqvist. With his team's 8-4 victory and his 35 saves against the Ottawa Senators tonight, Lundqvist became the franchise's all-time winningest goaltender with his 302 career victory.
For the Rangers' franchise, this could not happen to a better goaltender. For starters, he might be the Rangers' hardest working player.
Lundqvist is a goaltender that strives for perfection game in and game out. When he allows a goal, even if it was not his fault, one can clearly see the anger in his eyes and that after the goal, he will end up coming up with the big save for his hockey club.
Secondly, if not for Lundqvist, who knows where the Rangers would be on the NHL map. Prior to Lundqvist, this was a franchise that was falling off in a big way with playoff-less seasons, failed free agent signings and questionable deals.
When Lundqvist arrived on Broadway, everything changed in a hurry. The Rangers became fun to watch, started winning a lot of games and found themselves in the playoffs year in and year out because Lundqvist was the player that took them to another level.
Lundqvist is the face of this franchise. When someone talks about the Rangers, the first player that they usually mention is the "King" and how the only way the Rangers are going to succeed is with his great play between the pipes.
Lastly, if Richter's record was going to be broken, Lundqvist had to be the guy to do it. Lundqvist has spent his entire NHL career with the Rangers and showed his loyalty to the organization when he signed a seven-year contact extension with the club back in early December.
Like Richter, Lundqvist bleeds Rangers' red, white, and blue both on and off the ice and with everything he has accomplished, everything he stands for and everything he will do in the future, Lundqvist is more than the right goaltender to have the franchise's record for most wins by a goaltender.