By Rick Carpiniello
You hear the talk about the Rangers’ “window of opportunity” all the time, and it gets louder as each of these seasons progresses and then passes.
Rangers coach Alain Vigneault, before the trade deadline, had said the core of the team with that track record deserves “another kick at the can.” And the Rangers, having added Eric Staal without giving up a roster piece on Sunday, should get that chance.
But the window remaining opened, or closing, will depend on how long the Rangers’ goaltender remains elite.
Henrik Lundqvist turned 34 on Wednesday – a day in which he was again named Team Sweden’s goalie for the World Cup of Hockey next September, and a day when he and the team flew to Pittsburgh for a challenging two-game, two-night trip against the Penguins and Washington Capitals Thursday and Friday.
His age is not a factor at this point – he had the best start to a season in his career this season, and is back playing at his customary level as one of the best goalies in the league, if not the best. He has won 13 of his last 18 games with a 1.82 goals-against average, a .936 save percentage and two shutouts.
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