Just 47 days after his open-heart surgery, Henrik Lundqvist is doing well and is back on the ice making saves. Back on December 17th, Lundqvist and the Washington Capitals shared the heartbreaking news that he would be out for the season due to a heart condition. Later, he shared more specifics about his situation and announced via Twitter that the surgery is for an aortic root, ascending aortic replacement, and aortic valve replacement.
Henrik Lundqvist Has Returned To The Ice After Heart Surgery
Over the past few weeks, Lundqvist has been more active on his Twitter and Instagram, sharing content with his daughters and of his activities. He shared the wonderful news of his return to the ice with a video of him practicing in Capitals apparel.
The best type of workday! 😃 pic.twitter.com/2tWlS1iOmO
— Henrik Lundqvist (@hlundqvist35) February 23, 2021
Lundqvist stopped three quick breakaways, sticking with the speedy skater on his deke attempts and defiantly denying them all. His excellence in goal is something the New York Rangers and their fans are very well accustomed to.
In 887 regular-season games, he posted 459 wins, 64 shutouts, and a .918 save percentage. In addition, he posted 10 shutouts and a .921 save percentage in the playoffs. According to EvolvingHockey, Henrik Lundqvist provided the Rangers with 57.2 wins above replacements (WAR) since 2007, nearly 20 more than the next closest netminder. Over that course, he saved 278 goals above expected (GSAx), with the next closest goalie having 96. The future Hall-Of-Famer ranks 6th of all-time in wins, and 1st in Rangers’ history.
In Washington, the Capitals have resorted to other goaltending options to fill the vacancy of Henrik Lundqvist. Although they went into the season expecting to run a Lundqvist-Samsonov tandem, an excellent new option has emerged. Out of their 17 games played, Vitek Vanecek has played 14, and posted a not-too-shabby save percentage of .907%. Ilya Samsonov and newly signed Craig Anderson have started 2 and 1 games respectively, posting .868% and .853%.
While many have been ready to rule the heart surgery as the end of his career, perhaps “The King” will eventually return to reclaim his throne in the National Hockey League.