PK Subban dropped a quote about Henrik Lundqvist “being lucky” that has been chopped and screwed by the media for two days now. For those of you who haven’t seen the full quote and the context, here it is:
“Sometimes the puck just doesn’t go in,” Subban said after attempting 18 shots without scoring a goal, including nine that Lundqvist turned away. “In the past, we’ve done those same things and the puck’s gone in. So I mean, is (Lundqvist) playing well? Yeah, but we’re doing a good job. Some of it is luck, as well. He’s getting a little bit lucky, but that’s what you need in the playoffs.”
For starters, nobody should really have a problem with what Subban is saying. Then again, most people will since he’s PK Subban and is one of the very few NHL players with a willingness to consistently speak his mind to the media. But I digress.
The Canadiens are doing well. They outplayed the Rangers for most of game two. They unleashed an unbelievable onslaught against the Rangers and Lundqvist in the first period, yet found themselves down 2-1 after 20 minutes. In the third, Lundqvist had to make 15 saves despite the Rangers surgically removing the Bell Centre’s cause for hope with quick shifts and tight neutral zone play. In their 3-1 loss, the Canadiens fired 40 shots on goal against Lundqvist; 24 of which were at even strength.
Is Lundqvist getting lucky though? I’d argue he isn’t.
In The King’s 63 games this season, he’s posted a save percentage during 5 on 5 greater than 94.9% in 28 games (44% of the time). In 61% of his games, his save percentage was greater than 92.0%.
In two games thus far against the Canadiens, Lundqvist has a 95.0% during 5 on 5 with 38 saves. In total, he has a 95.2% save percentage in those two games.
I would argue that Lundqvist isn’t getting lucky. I’d argue that he’s simply very good.
The irony in this, is that two of the Canadiens goals were weird bounces off of Rangers that found the back of the net. They were lucky goals. If those goals didn’t happen, The King would have a 100% save percentage during 5 on 5 through two games. Would he be considered lucky then?