Lundqvist joins 20,000 save club with top save percentage
New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist joined an elite band of goaltenders on Wednesday night, as he passed the 20,000 save threshold.
Lundqvist made 27-saves during the 3-2 loss to Ottawa Senators to become just the 15th goaltender in NHL history to reach the milestone.
The occasion comes less than a year after the Swedish stopper became the fastest goaltender to reach 400 career wins, thanks to a 4-2 win against Colorado Avalanche on February 11 2017.
The 35-year-old’s .920 career save percentage is also currently ranked first among the 15 goaltenders to have reached the 20,000 save milestone, with Hall of Fame goaltender Jacques Plante and Florida Panthers’ Roberto Luongo tied for second on .919.
Luongo is the current leader in saves among active goaltenders (second all time) with 26,739 saves; Martin Brodeur is still the all time leader with 28,928 saves in 1,266 games played.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) December 14, 2017
Lundqvist’s latest success will come as little surprise to New York Rangers goaltending coach Benoit Allaire, who spotted greatness in the goaltender very early into his NHL career:
“With Henrik I saw in the first year – the first month – that he can do it right away.” Allaire told InGoal Magazine during the 2008-09 season.
“It’s like Tiger Woods changing his backswing. Henrik did the same thing, just made the adjustment.
“You can see the skill, like Tiger. He’s got it. If I will ask him to do something else he will do it too. And you know those guys are so good to translate that information, to do it right away, that they can have success right away. Only the top guys have got that.”
Contracted through until the end of the 2020-21 season, Lundqvist will almost certainly pass Nikolai Khabibhulin (20,258 saves) before the season is over, while Plante (20,865), Sean Burke (21,003) and Gilles Meloche (21,138) are all on the horizon.
To break into the top ten, Lundqvist will need to surpass Grant Fuhr’s 21,615 saves – easily achievable if the veteran stays healthy, given he has never faced less than 1,190 shots in a season, including the lockout shortened 2012-13 campaign.
Among other active goaltenders, Anaheim’s Ryan Miller (19,655) will be the next goaltender to reach 20,000 saves, with Marc-Andre Fleury the next closest after Miller, with 17,933 saves to his name.