Lundqvist said he needed a couple of days to absorb and get over Sweden’s quarterfinal loss on Wednesday but is now ready to focus on the rest of the NHL season. His trip back to New York was delayed by the bad weather, giving him an extra couple of days away from the rink since the Rangers didn’t practice yesterday, which is when Lundqvist finally made it back to New York. His original flight on Thursday actually made it to New York airspace and was descending when the flight was diverted to Toronto. So Lundqvist spent a couple of days there, bunking one night at ex-teammate and countryman Fredrik Sjostrom’s residence.
“It was great, a fun environment,” Lundqvist said of his second Olympics. “It’s a great city for the Games, I think. It started off pretty good. Then again, when it comes down to one game, the things that could go wrong, did go wrong. It was great to be there but disappointing to lose in the quarterfinals.”
For the record, Lundqvist believes Canada will beat Team USA for the gold. While in Vancouver, Lundqvist said he didn’t attend any other events but did walk around the Olympic Village as he was joined there by his family, including his father, Peter, who underwent brain surgery in Dec., 2007 after suffering an aneurysm. Lundqvist said his father was, “pretty good, hanging in there,” and was planning to visit New York in April.
But while Lundqvist said some comparison could be made to being eliminated from the Olympics before earning a medal and losing in the NHL playoffs, it’s not really the same.
“It’s such a long struggle to get there and the Olympics is just two weeks,” Lundqvist said. “You feel a little loss. But when the (NHL) season is over, there’s a lot more of that feeling. It’s a weird feeling. It’s not a fun feeling.
“Today, I’m focused on the Rangers,” Lundqvist added. “I wanted a couple of days off. But it felt good coming into the rink today.”
Lundqvist also had praise for his new backup, Auld, a 6-foot-5 butterfly goalie.
“It’s a good pickup for us,” Lundqvist said. “Personally, I have to keep playing really well to keep playing, otherwise we’ve got another guy.”
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