It Really Sucks to Be Lundqvist
When it comes to professional sports, it's really hard to feel bad for the athletes that play them.
These guys get to play a game and make a ton of money doing something that normal people would do for free. With money comes lots of fame, fortune, sponsorships, and admiration from millions of people.
With all of that said, however, there is one professional athlete that people should feel badly for. Yes, this particular player has had a ton of success in his sport, but nevertheless, there are some things that one can't help but look at and feel some kind of sympathy for this guy.
I am talking about New York Rangers' future Hockey Hall of Fame netminder Henrik Lundqvist. I am certainly well aware that in New York, Lundqvist is a superhero, but it can be said that he could be even more had things gone the way he wanted them too.
The main reason why I feel badly is that he has yet to win the Stanley Cup. In hockey, every player dreams about winning the Cup and the feelings that come with it such as true happiness, excitement, relief, and much, much more.
Not only has Lundqvist never won hockey's Holy Grail, but it appears that he never will, especially if he really does end up finishing his career on Broadway. What makes matters worse is that he and his hockey club had a few opportunities to make it happen:
- Lost in the Eastern Conference Finals in six games to the New Jersey Devils in 2012
- Lost in the Stanley Cup Final in five games to the Los Angeles Kings in 2014
- Lost in the Eastern Conference Finals in seven games to the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2015
Lundqvist was outstanding in each of the above mentioned playoff years. With that said, he came up empty handed each and every time.
I also feel badly for "the King" because since 2015, the Blueshirts haven't even sniffed the Cup. Yes, they made the postseason in both 2016 and 2017, but they lost in the first round in 2016 to the Pittsburgh Penguins and lost in 2017 in the second round to the Ottawa Senators.
The club did not make the playoffs this season or last season despite the fact that Lundqvist was an All-Star both last year and this year. This marked the first time that Henrik's team missed the postseason dance in back-to-back seasons.
This all goes to show you that despite everything that Lundqvist has done and accomplished with and for this franchise, he does not have the one thing that every hockey player cherishes the most. Sure, he may have a Vezina Trophy as the league's top goaltender, have well over 400 wins, several All-Star game appearances, etc., but in the end, none of these mean much to Henrik without winning the Cup.
I feel awful for Lundqvist, folks, and I do not know how that will change. He has stated time and time again that he wants to finish his career with the only team he has ever played for, but if he does that, there is a good chance that he will never win a Cup.
When you've accomplished as much as Lundqvist has in his illustrious career, it has to sting that when it comes to his trophy case, there will be nothing but a big hole where it says "Stanley Cup winner".
Patrick covers the NHL for The Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave.
He has previously covered the league for WTP Sports, Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.