Every team in the NHL needs a good backup goalie. No matter how good the starting goalie may be, the reality is that a goalie in the NHL needs off-days, especially if the team wants to contend for the playoffs and the Stanley Cup.
The Rangers added that good backup goalie this offseason when they signed former Islander Martin Biron to give Henrik Lundqvist a break during the season.
"He’s a proven National Hockey League goaltender,” Lundqvist said of Biron during the offseason. "It was a real good signing for us. He will push me to be even better which will be good for the team.”
Biron and the Rangers are a great fit.
Both parties got exactly what they were looking for when Biron agreed to a two-year deal, becoming the first free agent to sign on July 1. The Rangers were looking for an experienced, proven backup goalie that would be able to stand in when Lundqvist needs a break. Biron was looking for a playoff team that could use his ability in net, not just be a mentor for an up and coming goalie.
Last season, one of the biggest criticisms about the Rangers was that Lundqvist played too many games and he was burnt out towards the end of the season. He played in 73 games last year, about 10 too many for a regular goalie. They didn't have an adequate backup that they could rely on to give Henrik those extra nights off.
Biron can expect to play between 20 and 30 games for the Blueshirts this year and with Lundqvist gaining an extra 10 to 20 days off during the regular season, he will be plenty fresh for the postseason run.