Do it for "The King"

By Patrick Hoffman

When it comes to the National Hockey League, there have been many great players who never won a Stanley Cup.

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When one thinks about that, it is certainly a sad story. To play many years in the world's best league, pour tons of blood, sweat, and tears into every season, and do everything you can to win a Cup, and come up short when it matters the most is certainly hard to take.

For the New York Rangers, there is one current player that is coming close to falling into this category. If you're a true blue Ranger fan or even a big hockey fan in general, than you know that this player is franchise goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.

Coming up on his 13th season in the NHL, all with the Blueshirts, the window for "The King" to win a Cup is coming to a close. This is why, amongst other reasons, this season is critical for the Rangers and their fearless masked man. 

The club must do everything they possibly can this upcoming season to win it all. The team must do this for the guy who has been their true leader since joining the league in the 2005-06 season. 

For starters, the man they call "Hank" has been and is clearly the team's most valuable player. Not only has he been the team's best player on a nightly basis, but he has also been their most consistent and most reliable player. 

Year in and year out, Lundqvist wins a lot of hockey games, posts solid goals against averages, save percentages and shutouts, and is usually the main reason why the team makes the playoffs almost every year. Lundqvist is the team's rock every season and is the reason why the team is always considered a contender to capture hockey's Holy Grail.

Secondly, Lundqvist has done just about everything for this franchise. Not only did he put the team back on the map after the lockout season of 2004-05, but he has shattered both club and NHL records: 

He is the club's all-time leader in wins (405) 
He is the club's all-time leader in shutouts (61) 
He holds the NHL record of five straight Game 7 victories in the postseason
He holds the NHL record of being the goaltender who was quickest to get 400 wins

He is the first European-born goaltender to reach 400 wins

Lastly, no one works harder than Lundqvist. This is a netminder who does everything he can to get better each and every season and is someone who expects to be perfect. Sure, being perfect is an unrealistic goal, but if there is any player that comes close to it on the Rangers, it is Lundqvist.

For everything that Lundqvist has given this franchise, the team must do everything they can to reward him by winning the Cup. No one knows how much Hank has left in the tank, which is why the time is now for the Rangers to deliver the Cup to one of the greatest goaltenders to ever play the game.

Previously, Patrick has covered the NHL for Sportsnet.caKukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, About.com, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.

For comments and hip checks, feel free to contact Patrick at patrickhoffman3530@gmail.com or on Twitter at @pathoffman35.

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