Charlie Lindgren, the late-developing goalie sporting a mustache, leads the Washington Capitals into the playoffs

Published Categorized as NFL No Comments on Charlie Lindgren, the late-developing goalie sporting a mustache, leads the Washington Capitals into the playoffs
Washington Capitals

Alex Ovechkin scored many goals in the final games for the Washington Capitals, but he isn’t the main reason they reached the playoffs.

That honor goes to Charlie Lindgren, a goalie who wasn’t drafted, not well-known, and blossomed later in his career. Lindgren, with his distinctive mustache, became the team’s starting goalie and carried them through the latter part of the season.

Since taking over as the top goalie from Darcy Kuemper, Lindgren faced more shots and made more saves than anyone else in the NHL over the past three months.

His stellar performance in goal has made him the Capitals’ Most Valuable Player when it counted the most.

“I’ve had a wonderful time,” Lindgren said. “I’ve been dreaming about this for 20 years, truly. And just to have the opportunity to play many games and the trust that this team has placed in me, I appreciate it.”

Lindgren earned his spot, finally breaking through at the age of 30. On Sunday, he will play his first Stanley Cup playoff game against his brother Ryan and the highly favored New York Rangers.

Game 1 will be at Madison Square Garden, just days after Lindgren played on consecutive nights to secure Washington’s spot in the postseason.

Washington Capitals (Credits:

Looking back, Lindgren stopped 75 of 78 shots over a three-game winning streak, following a tough game in Buffalo. Failing to win would have meant an early end to the season for him and his teammates.

“Any challenges he faces, he handles them like it’s no big deal, finding a way to overcome,” coach Spencer Carbery remarked.

“These are qualities you really need in a professional hockey player, and it’s been impressive to see how his teammates have rallied around him,” he added.

Nic Dowd, the fourth-line center who played with Lindgren at St. Cloud State for a season, observed that Lindgren has become a leader without realizing it. He also noted that Lindgren’s mustache game has improved.

“He’s really embraced it,” said retired defenseman Karl Alzner, who played with Lindgren in Montreal and the minors. “That’s his signature now. He’s channeling the style of hockey players from the ’80s and ’90s.”

Off the ice, Lindgren has a traditional personality. He speaks to reporters on game days, which is often avoided by superstitious goalies. Despite this, nothing seems to faze him when he’s in the crease.

“I have a lot of faith and confidence in myself, as well as in my teammates. When you’re prepared, it reduces stress,” Lindgren commented. “A big part of it is experience and confidence.”

It could have been easy for Lindgren to lose confidence as he shuttled between the NHL and the American Hockey League into his late 20s.

Alzner thought it might have been challenging for teams to see Lindgren as anything more than a backup. However, he believed that the Capitals were potentially getting a gem based on Lindgren’s performances in Montreal and with AHL Laval.

“This guy puts in more effort in practice than many goalies,” Alzner commented, praising Lindgren’s dedication. “I thought, ‘If he can regain his confidence, he’ll get back to that level.'”

Kuemper is in the second season of a five-year, $26.25 million contract, while Lindgren is earning $1.1 million per year until 2024-25.

When Kuemper started to struggle, rookie head coach Carbery didn’t let that affect his decision on who to play in goal.

Washington Capitals

It’s been tough for Kuemper, who said he’s “trying to support Charlie as much as I can whenever he needs help with anything. I’ve been through these situations, so I try to share my experiences with him and assist him along the way.”

After defeating Boston on Monday night, Lindgren made sure to thank Kuemper for handling the situation “like a true professional” and always supporting him.

Many people are now supporting Lindgren, even though his family will have divided loyalties in the first round. However, he has already earned the respect of the Capitals for everything he has done to help them keep playing hockey.

“His dedication — not just in games, but also in practice and off the ice — is noticed,” veteran winger T.J. Oshie remarked. “To see all that hard work pay off is fantastic.

You always cheer for your teammates and want the best for them. Anyone who knows Chuckie or meets him, or even watches how hard he fights in there during games, it’s difficult not to root for him.”


By Ritik

Ritik Katiyar is pursuing a post-graduate degree in Pharmaceutics. Currently, he lives in Srinagar, Uttarakhand, India. You can find him writing about all sorts of listicle topics. A pharmaceutical postgrad by day, and a content writer by night. You can write to him at [email protected]

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *