Henrik Lundqvist prepares to have pies shot at him (via Late Night with Jimmy Fallon/YouTube)
Henrik Lundqvist was on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon Wednesday to stop pies and attempt to promote the NHL’s Thanksgiving Showdown on Nov. 27. The segment was as ridiculous as it sounds.
Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is the face of the New York Rangers and an NHL superstar, and with that comes a number of responsibilities and opportunities. For instance, when it comes to promoting the game, Lundqvist is front and center. That’s why Lundqvist ended up with the unenviable job of stopping tabletop pumpkin pies on Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
You read that right. Lundqvist, a Vezina Trophy winner and five-time finalist for the award, was tasked with turning aside pies that were fired his way. It’s not hard to guess how many pies actually get by Lundqvist:
It’s odd that Lundqvist was trotted out as what amounted to little more than a prop. With Fallon’s shooting ability, they could have easily used a cutout of the Rangers netminder and had the same result. Lundqvist only spoke one, short line.
The segment, which lasted little more than one minute, was all in the name of promoting the NHL's Thanksgiving Showdown, which are a pair of games broadcast on NBC on Black Friday. The first contest on Nov. 27 pits the Rangers against the Boston Bruins at 1 p.m., and the second half of the double-header kicks off at 5 p.m. with the Anaheim Ducks taking on the Chicago Blackhawks.
Fallon has done some great work with NHL stuff in the past. The NHL Superlatives segments that went on throughout the 2014-15 season were good for a laugh. But Lundqvist's time on the show Wednesday was a colossal waste.
Lundqvist has a great personality and he’s a great spokesman for the league. There’s so much more that could have been done to promote the Black Friday double-header, like having Lundqvist sit and actually talk with Fallon. Lundqvist is coming off of a shutout win in which fans fought over his stick post-game, he plays music with tennis legend John McEnroe and he’s one of the greatest goaltenders in the world. He led the Rangers to back-to-back Eastern Conference finals, too.
The segment did its job — it got Lundqvist in front of the camera and got the plug in for the Thanksgiving Showdown — but overall it felt like a waste of Lundqvist’s talent and personality, and of some decent pies.