It's a rare sight to see Henrik Lundqvist so unfettered.
The man is known as one of the coolest, calm-under-pressure players in the NHL. When the New York Rangers goalie turns in his weekly 40-save performance, it's done with controlled moments of flash and consistency. When he's in the zone he is unshakable.
That's what made Thursday night so jarring. The Pittsburgh Penguins hadn't figured him out through one period, and it looked like we were on our way to another typical lights-out performance.
And then Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh flew into him while trying to break up a play, and that seemed to break Lundqvist's calm spell.
And then he just ... snapped.
And that was pretty much the end of New York's good night. Pittsburgh later scored three goals in under two minutes, burying whatever momentum the Rangers had carried into the second half of the game.
Angry goalies are nothing new. Go Google "Mike Smith crease" and see what fun videos you come up with. And it's certainly not the first time Lundqvist has publicly displayed his ire. Goalies are theatrical, a little entitled and (yes) a little crazy. It's the nature of the position. They take offense to things other players wouldn't bat an eye at. They're the pitchers of hockey.
So while what Lundqvist did Thursday was absolutely ridiculous and totally over the line, we'll either laugh at it or forget about it. Or both! If he ends up being the difference between 40 saves and seven goals against on most nights, then Rangers fans will certainly forgive him for trying to chuck the net into the lower bowl.
Penguins 4, Rangers 1
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3 things we learned
1. The Jets lost in the most painful of ways
Credit to rookie Nikolaj Ehlers for being in the right position to keep Kyle Okposo from an easy bank-in during 3-on-3 overtime on Thursday. Unfortunately for him, it didn't matter:
3. The Maple Leafs are at least earning some respect while they're losing
I suppose that's one of the hallmarks of a Mike Babcock team: if you're going to lose a game, you're going to do it while working your tail off up and down the ice. Toronto made Minnesota work for a 2-1 win, which is essentially the best of both worlds: you continue the tank and look good doing it.
This is probably the most blatant disregard for NHL rules I've ever seen. I love it.
You mad bro? pic.twitter.com/SzGIETehB5— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) March 4, 2016
With a point tonight, @FlaPanthers’ Jaromir Jagr (743-1,107—1,850) has tied Gordie Howe (801-1,049—1,850) for third place in NHL history.— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) March 4, 2016