A practically lost season for the Rangers and Henrik Lundqvist is going to be even more barren as the calendar flips to April.
With the team well out of playoff contention, the team is expected to sit the 37-year-old goaltender and organizational stalwart for the majority of remaining games. Backup goalie Alexander Georgiev, who started in Philadelphia on Sunday, is expected to receive most of the playing time in net.
The team prepped for Lundqvist for this decision by keeping an open dialogue with him.
"I knew I was not going to play a lot of games, the last 12-13 games, they told me that," Lundqvist told the New York Post on Saturday. "So I was kind of prepared for that. All I can do now is just practice hard and try to make the most of my next start."
It's been a difficult season for Lundqvist, who is allowing 3.05 goals per game -- a career worst -- over 50 contests. Rangers coach David Quinn expects him to start Monday against the Devils.
"He understands the situation and he's been very good about it," Quinn told the Post. "He's a pro and he knows the situation we're in. If you asked him, he'd want to play every game, as you'd want all your players to do. But he's handled it very well and very understanding of the situation. And Georgie's played very well, too, let's not discredit Georgie."
The Rangers entered Sunday seventh in the Metropolitan Division with a 30-34-13 record. Lundqvist, who is entering the twilight of his career, hopes the rebuild can be accelerated and the team can revert to winning ways.
"I don't know how quick you can turn things around, or what's gonna happen this summer," Lundqvist said. "There's obviously gonna be some action, for sure."