Could Lundqvist Be the Next Winningest?

It wasn’t so long ago that New Jersey Devils’ Martin Brodeur became the winningest goaltender in the history of the NHL when he broke the record held by Patrick Roy on March 17, 2009 with his 552nd win.  Since that date, he has been distancing himself from the #2 spot to create the new record, making it difficult for anyone to catch up to him and beat him.

With Henrik Lundqvist recording his 300th career win on Sunday, March 9th, could Lundqvist be a contender?

Let’s take a look at the numbers.

Brodeur was 29 years old when he recorded his 300th NHL win.  He accomplished that feat in 550 NHL games.

Lundqvist is 32 years old.  He recorded his 300th win in 560 games.

Brodeur currently stands at 686 wins after appearing in 1252 games.  His win percentage, which is the best amongst all goalies to win 300 games or more, is 54.79% overall.  For Lundqvist, he’s not far behind with an overall win percentage of 53.57%.

Lundqvist joins the 300+ wins club at #29.  He is just one win behind New York Rangers legend Mike Richter who had 301 wins in 666 games (win percentage of 45.2%).  Lundqvist should move up several spots in the race for most winningest over the next few weeks.  He’s just six wins away from taking possession of 24th place currently held by Billy Smith (New York Islanders).

If there was any true contender in the race to become the next most winningest goaltender in the history of the NHL, Lundqvist could give Brodeur a run for his title.

Brodeur’s legacy doesn’t lie solely in owning the best all-time records.  He did all of that with one club: the New Jersey Devils.  Lundqvist is creating his own legacy similarly by creating his legend with one club: the New York Rangers.  Back on December 4, 2013, he signed a seven-year contract extension with the Rangers, putting his age at 39 years old when the contract expires.

“He’s been the face of the franchise and will continue to be that,” Brad Richards said of Lundqvist.  “It’s only been seven or eight years.  It seems like it’s 30 or 40 wins every year.  That’s just stability for the organization, also a great accomplishment for a person.”

The only major difference between Brodeur’s race to be the most winningest and Lundqvist is that despite Henrik’s record of going seven straight seasons of having 30+ wins (pre-lockout), Brodeur had several seasons in his career where he had 40+ wins.  By the end of his seventh year in the NHL, Brodeur had already recorded two seasons with 40+ wins.  Lundqvist hasn’t reached that threshold yet of having more than 40 wins, even though he’s come close with 39 wins back in 2011-12.

As for shutouts, adding his 49th career shutout on Sunday, he is the only Swede in the top 30.  Brodeur owns the current shutout record at 124.  It took him eight seasons to reach #49, while it took Lundqvist nine seasons.

“I kept all the pucks,” Lundqvist said of all of the goals scored in the shutout game.  “All the shutout pucks…somewhere at the rink.  Hopefully I can keep collecting a few.”

While Lundqvist is well on his way to establishing franchise records with the Rangers, he may not be able to beat the records Brodeur is setting as an NHL goaltender, but he will be the first Swede to establish records of his own in NHL goaltending.  He is the only Swede currently in the top 30 that’s racing up the NHL goaltending ladder for records.

Brodeur had time on his side.  He started off in the NHL at a younger age than Lundqvist.  Considering he’s still playing well after 40, in order for Lundqvist to get the jump on breaking any of Brodeur’s records, he would have to step up his own game…maybe even continue playing long after Brodeur retires.

But before Lundqvist gets to those personal records, he needs his team to win the coveted prize with him: a Stanley Cup.  At this stage in the game, Brodeur already had two Stanley Cups with the Devils.  Lundqvist has yet to have that special moment at this point in his career.

Who knows?  Maybe this year will be his year.

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