Hank’s for nothing, old buddy

Mats Zuccarello returns to New York and helps Wild spoil Henrik Lundqvist Night

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Mats Zuccarello had a goal and an assist in New York on the night the Rangers honored old friend Henrik Lundqvist.
Mats Zuccarello had a goal and an assist in New York on the night the Rangers honored old friend Henrik Lundqvist.
Image: Getty Images

Henrik Lundqvist’s No. 30 was raised to the Madison Square Garden rafters Friday night, a well-deserved honor for the future Hall of Famer who backstopped the Rangers for 15 years and won everything but a Stanley Cup as one of the best and most consistent goalies in the business.

The ceremony was standard fare for this type of thing, not that dissimilar from the ceremony in Dallas on Friday to honor another ex-Ranger, defenseman Sergei Zubov, who had his No. 56 retired by the Stars.

It’s typical on these sorts of occasions for the man of the hour to pay an in-game visit to the broadcast booth, and Lundqvist did so during the second period of Rangers-Wild. That’s when the unexpected memorable moment of the night came.


One of Lundqvist’s best friends is Minnesota winger Mats Zuccarello, who debuted with the Rangers in 2010 and spent eight and a half seasons on Broadway, including helping lead the way to the 2014 Stanley Cup Final. This is Zuccarello’s third season with the Wild, and he came back to New York on a nine-game point streak.

“Don’t let that guy score,” Lundqvist said jokingly to Sam Rosen and Joe Micheletti on the MSG broadcast.


“Oh my God,” Lundqvist said, without missing a beat, as Zuccarello’s shot sailed past Igor Shesterkin into the net.


Zuccarello assisted on the go-ahead goal and Minnesota held on for a 3-2 win when the Rangers had an apparent goal waved off with 1.9 seconds left for what was ruled to be Ryan Strome pushing former Rangers backup goalie Cam Talbot’s pad into the net ahead of the puck.

Giant step forward?

It wasn’t too hard to connect the dots when the Giants hired Joe Schoen from the Bills to be their new GM that they were targeting Buffalo offensive coordinator Brian Daboll as their new head coach, and that’s exactly what happened.


Daboll oversaw Josh Allen’s journey from scattershot rookie to dominant force, and obviously the hope for Big Blue is that he can do the same with Daniel Jones, the No. 6 pick in the 2019 draft, who so far in his career has a 12-25 record with a 62.8 percent completion rate, 45 touchdowns, and 29 interceptions.

And if that doesn’t work, the Giants will have another high draft pick next year, and Schoen and Daboll can find their own next quarterback.