In my previous piece, I suggested that game three was time for the New York Rangers to make a change at goaltender. Henrik Lundqvist had started the previous two games and the team had lost both. The team needed a spark in order to extend their series against the Carolina Hurricanes. Unfortunately for the Rangers, they were not able to avoid a three-game sweep in the return to play.
Hurricanes Sweep Rangers in Return to Play
Unfortunately, the return of Igor Shesterkin was not able to provide them with that spark. The Hurricanes beat the Rangers by a score of four to one and will face the fourth seed of the round-robin series. That is either the Boston Bruins or the Washington Capitals. The three-game sweep in the best-of-five series will give the Hurricanes time to heal some of the injuries on the team.
Question about Rangers’ Goaltending Situation
It is not known whether or not Lundqvist, who is 38-years-old, will play again. If he does, the emergence of Shesterkin means that it will not likely happen with the Rangers. The image of Lundqvist sitting behind the net at the end of the ice is not how Rangers’ fans and he saw his career ending.
What does the potential retirement of Lundqvist mean for the Rangers? In a previous piece, Elias Laradi stated that the salary cap for the NHL’s next season will be flat. This means that teams will have the same amount of money ($81.5M) as they did for the 2019-20 season.
The following is a breakdown of salary cap spending for next season:
- Upper Limit = $81.5 Million
- Midpoint = $70.9 Million
- Lower Limit = $60.2 Million
Prior to the COVID-19 stoppage, there was talk of the Rangers buying out Lundqvist’s contract. The Rangers would save around $3M on Lundqvist’s contract if he were to retire.
Young Hurricanes Lead Team Past Rangers
The young stars on the Hurricanes were the reason that they were able to sweep the Rangers. Unfortunately for the Rangers, game one was the only game that was close on the scoreboard as the Rangers were able to score more than one goal. Maybe this was just due to the fact that the two teams had not played in five months.
Sebastian Aho led the team in scoring during the series with eight points. Andrei Svechnikov came in second place on the team with five points. Svechnikov scored a hat trick, the Hurricane’s first in franchise playoff history in game number two of the qualifying round.
At only 20 years old, Svechnikov has already ascended to a leadership role on the Hurricanes. His performance against the Rangers has done nothing to dissuade anyone from thinking that. Svechnikov took over game three against the Rangers and needs to have another impactful series if the Hurricanes are going to succeed against either the Penguins or the Canadiens.
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