#NYR Henrik Lundqvist not playing tmrw vs. Philly. Cam Talbot will get his first NHL start tomorrow. Lundqvist won’t back up either
— Katie Strang (@KatieStrangESPN) October 23, 2013
As if being down half of their top-6 forwards wasn’t enough, the first month of the Blueshirts’ season is on the cusp of getting a shit-ton worse. No captain to fire up the troops, no 30+ goal scorer to help an anemic offense, and now no Vezina-winning netminder to bail them out. I’m not sure how Vigneault can dub whatever’s ailing Lundvist a “minor issue” while saying he’s been dealing with it for about 10 days – but the fact that the Rangers are being so vaguely optimistic sounds to me like they’re shitting their pants in private. The King hasn’t had a lot of help so far this season, but clearly hasn’t played to his usual standards either. Maybe this mystery injury is to blame. If it is and he’s still yet to shake it, there’s legitimate reason to doubt another couple of days off will do the trick.
Skipping tomorrow’s matchup against the Flyers isn’t a big deal – there are actually worse teams than the Rangers and Philly houses one of them. But if #30 isn’t between the pipes in Detroit on Saturday after a full week of rest, panic is perfectly acceptable. I’d be a little more confident with Marty Biron right now over a 26 year-old undrafted rookie but, either way, any NYR success rests squarely on Hank’s crown. If he ends up missing significant time, it’s possible the worst has yet to come.