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I have no words to describe what I saw from the Rangers' goalie tonight. The most impressive performance I've seen in any sport since Eli in Super Bowl 42.

38 saves.

How is that even possible? Only let up 1 goal and the Caps spent essentially all of the 3rd period swarming the goal. It started heating up at the onset of the 2nd period and didn't let up until the final seconds ran off and MSG went insane.

When I would coat check in the winter, there were some nights that would just be unrelenting. Like I just felt like I worked 1000x harder than normal for the same amount of tips as any other night. The whole night would just be lined with drunk people knocking things over, everyone losing their ticket, a million asshole guys condescending to me, a million dirty stayouts getting pissed at me for their asshole boyfriends even talking to me, long lines, running out of change, running out of coat hangers, etc etc. It just wouldn't stop until 4am. I could take all that if it came in digestible chunks, like spurts of maddening bar antics that rolled in peaks and troughs. Because then I could sit down for 5 minutes, catch my breath, down a beer, and stave off cardiac arrest.

Lundqvist had the NHL playoffs version of that night. All I had to do was deal with shitfaced bozos and hang coats, and it made me nuts. He was fending off one shot after another from about 16,000 angles. In the playoffs. It was just otherwordly really. Amazing. He saved the Rangers tonight, when the Caps' defense AND offense was loaded for bear. When the Rangers D was tiring and their offense looking less and less sharp with each passing minute. Lundqvist was on point for the entire game. The saves he made were nothing short of astounding. With Ovechkin gunning for him, (and doing so with the equivalent of a machine gun), Lundqvist deflected all but 1 shot.

It was an unspoken response to Ovechkin's contention that the Rangers are scared of him. More compelling than any contrived quip or retort, Lundqvist's performance tonight demonstrated he's unequivocally fearless.

Thanks, Hank.


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