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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Full Henrik Lundqvist Cafe Magazine Interview


The knee put an end to World Cup games - but Henrik Lundqvist has otherwise have reason to complain about life. The Café 4 / 2010, we visited him in Manhattan for an exclusive interview about life in New York, the future, pub rounds with Caroline and what really happened when he wrecked his Lamborghini.Henrik Lundqvist makes a soft landing in its highly polished black Maserati. By picking hand on the steering wheel left, he extended his right and also greet the box. I feel like grabbing a fresh Argentine beef, a piece just enough muscle mass murderers.

That he is driving his Maserati today is no accident.

Lamborghini totalkvaddade him just two weeks before our meeting.

Lundqvist smiles a bit shocked, embarrassed, as if the memory still haunts him the pictures, when I crash on the speech.

- I had a fucking lucky. It was only scrap left of the car, "he says and makes a gesture with his arms to emphasize that there really was not much of a car he left behind there on the highway.

Henrik Lundqvist comes directly from morning workout at the MSG Training Center in Tarrytown, a half hour's drive away. It was there, three-lane highway on the Saw Mill River Parkway, which the accident occurred.

According to the newspapers were aquaplaning Lundqvist - "sucked asphalt just get in the car" - and Lamborghini thundered into the guardrail to the right of way.

When Expressen called him up after the crash, he was asked whether he missed his workout was going to.

- No, said Lundqvist, well I got a few minutes late but ran out in the gym.

It is 24 years since the Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Pelle Lindbergh - still regarded by many as the best Swedish NHL keeper of all time - died after running straight into a stone wall with his red Porsche.

Hand on heart, it was actually hydroplaning caused the crash?
- Yes, I did not drive fast at all, "said Lundqvist with a wry smile, as if I may interpret the response as I want.

Lundqvist joking aside: The management of the New York Rangers, had already been in her Swedish nugget that perhaps he should ease a bit on gas. It will not get less nagging now. No new sports car, either, for that matter.

- No, now I Maseratin a while so we'll see. Mom, Dad and Therese (Andersson, Lundqvist's girlfriend for eight years) does not seem so keen that I buy a new Lamborghini. They want me to start driving SUV into training sessions instead ...

Is the car a lot of interest?
- I like cars, but I do absolutely nothing. When I bought the car, I kind entered and knocked on the hood. I go entirely to the look and feel.

Then you came to New York four years ago, you still have gone from a kid Hummer ...
- ... To a Maserati and then a Lamborghini. The thing was that I intended to buy a Ferrari, a silver, but it turned out that the only Ferrari had the inside was a 360 Modena, and it did not feel right. But standing next to a silver Lamborghini. I was a bit hesitant at first, but I got to test drive it and was completely sold.

With Henrik Lundqvist talks about his recent car purchase in the millions, he really sound like if he was in the supermarket on the corner and acted sweets. But he also wrote in a six-year contract in February 2008 giving him nearly 50 million in annual salary and make him the NHL's best paid goalie.

The black sunglasses from Armani, in other words, sit safely on the selected nose when Henrik Lundqvist lighthouses of its one million U.S. dollars smile and look like that artlessly magnetic like any girl friends wish their boyfriends did.

He parked his Italian beauty outside 24 Hour Studio in Manhattan, where he was being photographed for the Café. He gets out and takes a turn around the car to make sure that the car does not obstruct the exit next to the garage.

He has been here before.

- In New York you will not fine. Here whisked the car away immediately, "he explains, and crouched at the height of the rear lights to be one hundred percent sure that his car is okay.

The explanation for his somewhat neurotic behavior is a few years back.

- I parked the car on the street and missed the sidewalk went down a little bit right where I stood. In the morning I looked out the window, and then the car was gone! I watched four times before I realized that the car was really gone. I assumed that it was stolen, but then I called our security guy in the Rangers and it took him half an hour to sniff until it was gone. It had been towed away and had to pick at Pier 71!

So it is just like the Seinfeld episode where Kramer get his car towed away and forced to make a whole day to get it out?
- Yes, but must wait in line for a few hours and be ashamed along with all others who illegally parked ...

When I tell Lundqvist, Swedish supermodel Caroline Winberg at this time photographed in the studio, he is about to boots in to health, but stopped at the last moment of a short cut, middle-aged man with plucked eyebrows, explaining that it did not lend themselves as Caroline, ehum, not fully dressed for the occasion.

Do you know each other and Caroline?
- Yes, we have met a few times. New York is not as big as you might think. We have common friends and run into each other sometimes.

When you are out to turn around?
- Haha, yes, it happens.

When hook you last?
- After the away game against Calgary the day before it became a bit festive. It was the last game of a seven-day roadtrip in Canada, and now we have a few days off, so it suited me.

There are no explicit rules for how you should construct your players outside the rink?
- There is no kindergarten this, but all you do is their own responsibility. But you may of course choose their occasions. It is perhaps not so smart to go out and party head off, two days before the match, but it is clear that we can get some glass even during the season. Personally, I play better if I do stuff in their free time than if I just sit home and stare at the ceiling.

How to handle the New York Rangers bad boy and your buddy, Sean Avery, with the responsibility?
- Haha, well, at least when he is with me ...

Sean Avery was suspended from the game - and had to go to Anger Management to learn to control his temper - after having spoken condescendingly about the actress and former girlfriend Elisha Cuthbert, which he called "my sloppy leftovers" in front of television cameras.

- And in fact I think he was calmer, "said Lundqvist. More relaxed, although he still is ... different.

Crazy, you mean?
- Haha, Sean is ... One of a Kind! It's fun to have slightly different personalities around him. And in addition to the ice we get closer to each other. I get a little more outgoing and he was a bit calmer. It is rare players who are mad are mad on the ice outside, even if it is precisely in this case is not far away.

Sean Avery is very interested in fashion and has particular internship at American Vogue. You also seem the right man for what you take with you?
- Of course I like the clothing fair means, but I'm not so interested that I would practice at Vogue during my vacation!

Can you and Avery out at the mall together?
- Haha ... well it has happened.

How do you practice, you sew up five costumes for every season, or how does it work?
- A bit like that. But I like above all Swedish designers, so I usually buy me some clothes when I'm home during the summer and bring me over here.

You surprised a bit when you got up on stage and played guitar live with Sean Avery opened his sports bar here in New York?
- Yes, I met a guy here in town who lirar, so I played with him a few times and so Sean asked if we wanted to set up.

Do you swear not to make one Mats Wilander and destroy your reputation by recording a song sopig?
- No risk. I play just because it's fun, and because it is a great way to relax away hockey. I'm actually with Jay Weinberg, son of Max Weinberg, who is the drummer in the E Street Band, in a studio here for a couple weeks ago. Jay was a stand-in for his dad at the Springsteen's concerts at the Stadium this summer. He is ridiculously good, and so he brings the singer from his band.
And you tore off some old-Jimi Hendrix solos with the front teeth?
- Haha, no, I'm terribly bad at solos. I'm too slow.

How long have you been playing guitar?
- Me and Joel (Henry's twin brother, forward in Frölunda) started sometime in middle school, but we stopped taking lessons when the family moved from Åre in Bastad.

And how do harmonica making?
- It was like ... Is it that my mom gossiping? Haha, yes, it rolls on.

Are you on very live concerts?
- Yes, some. Some of the guys in the club's organization is very interested in music, so they usually come with tips. I was on Springsteen at Madison Square Garden yesterday. Quite okay, but I've seen him better!

The question is whether Henrik Lundqvist self ever been better. The home game against the expected top team the Boston Bruins a week before our meeting, he prickfri except on a rare excursion out of goal area, which after treatment and doubts puck a little misunderstanding with one of the slopes are about to conclude with a devastating baklängesmål.

- We have a game system where I will not go out and stop some pucks, but sometimes I have to, and the game with the puck is really something I need to improve.

Has it resulted in a magnificent painting?
- Yes, I have actually given away a few goals, including one time when I was trying to score in the open cage, but added the middle of the gap on an opponent so he could make the case instead. It was not so damn successful.

How many goals have you done in your career?
- None. If you do not count the ones I did before I became a goalie, but that's a few years ago.

With just over minutes left in the match against Rangers with Boston leading 1-0. Guests pick out their goalie Tim Thomas - last year's winner of the Vezina Trophy, the price of the NHL's best goalie - and park Slovak Zdeno Chara giant hill in the lap of Lundqvist. After a sweaty rescue of a control with 47 seconds left, the game does the whole audience up and shouting:

- Hen-rich! Hen-rich! Hen-rich!

Swede success of the season's first zero and is assigned as the match star. He takes no cut out on the ice and sending up the club in the audience the sea.

It should, he might not have done.

The escalator on the way out, I am witness to a small drama when a Hispanic woman in her 40s blamed a middle-aged Indian man to have gone to her little son in a desperate attempt to catch Lundqvist's stick.

I continue out, and my eyes get stuck on a large plate depicting Billboard Henrik Lundqvist, goalkeeper of the full livery, with the text: "The King plays here."

I continue out, and my eyes get stuck on a large plate depicting Billboard Henrik Lundqvist, goalkeeper of the full livery, with the text: "The King plays here."

"King" may be a hackneyed epithet of athletes, but Henrik Lundqvist is the rare well. He has "ruled" a long time now. In order to find any real adversity in his career the band have to go back until he was 18 years old.

He would make his first season in the top division with Frölunda. After Lundqvist been torn and the whole pre-season recruits Club NHL deserving American Pat Jablonski at the last moment and Lundqvist consigned to the Farm Team Mölndal.

I got pretty sick of hockey and did not like at all, it was fun, so I went back to juniorlaget and play with friends there and beat back the urge.

How close was it that you ended up with hockey?
- The game is played primarily for fun, so when you lose your passion, it is difficult to motivate themselves. But deep down I probably knew the whole time that I wanted to continue. I could not quit without first fighting and give hockey a real chance.

After a couple of seasons hat was Lundqvist's undisputed first choice at Frölunda goalie record in 2002-2005. He contributed very much to Frölunda national championships in 2003 and received its definitive breakthrough season 2004/2005, when it swarmed with NHL pros in the top division due to play in the NHL lockout.

Despite qualifying opponents as brothers Hossa, Milan Gaborik, Henrik Zetterberg and Peter Forsberg sat Lundqvist no less than four hard to beat a record in finals on the way to the SM-title: greatest number of zeros (six), fewest goals against per game average (1:05 pieces), best save percentage (0.962 percent) and maintained at zero (172 minutes and 29 seconds).

After the season, voted player of the year presented him to the league's most valuable player, and he combed also home the award for best goalkeeper and best player in all categories.

- Last year in Frölunda was like a dream. At the same time, I felt ready for new challenges, so the move to Rangers was natural. But the first few months were tough, and I questioned the whole thing when I was sitting there alone at the hotel in Tarrytown, not knowing if I would have to remain in New York, or sent to the Farm Team. But as soon as it began to roll on, I felt that this was what I wanted, and then I thought no longer about what I left behind me. Henrik Lundqvist's NHL debut was against arch rival New Jersey Devils den 8 October 2005. The loss was after an extension, but Lundqvist accounted for a stable operation, but renewed confidence in the return four days later, which Rangers won.

The Swede acclimatise to the small ice surface, and the high pace faster than anyone dared hope for and already on October 17, just over a week after his debut, he held its first zero.

Had you been warned about the reckless home crowd here in New York?
- I had been here and seen a match before I came here. I was 19 years old and that was the last regular season game of the season. Then they booed out three or four of their players, so I knew the crowd was tough. When things go well they lift up one, and they expect to always do their best. I think it is linked with the spirit of this town. There are not many who can slide around in New York, you have to wear if one is to survive here, and the audience expects the players in their team do the same. It's a tough climate.

So there was no question of 'watch and learn "first year?
- Hardly. I knew that my start was important, not the audience first and foremost, but for my existence in the team and the league. The first home games were really good, so I got the crowd on my side. It enabled me to relax a bit and did not have to focus so much on everything around.

I saw you play in the fall during your rookie season, at home against the Philadelphia Flyers, and with ten minutes left and led 2-0 but you are standing ovation by the audience. How did you manage to avoid being affected by hubris?
- I came here when I was 23 years, after almost five years in the top division, the final years as first goalkeeper. I had got used to play with the press and taught me deal with things outside of both having and adversity. While it is important to have people around who can take down one of the world, family, girlfriend and brother. They are right on the fast stuff, haha! I also know that I can be written down as quickly. You may try to put somewhere in the middle. Someone said to me when were 17, 18 that "you are never as good as it says in the newspapers, but never as bad".

Do you read the newspapers the day after the match?
- Is it me, I read, it goes bad let me be.

Have you been booed in Madison Square Garden at some point?
- Not booed, but it has happened to people a bit sarcastically applauded when I took a long shot loose after releasing four, five pucks. It may be taken.

Before the debut season was over Henrik Lundqvist had won no fewer than 30 matches - a record for rookies - and also recorded for the fourth-highest save percentage and fifth lowest number of goals against average in the league.

He was selected for the All-Star team of rookies and was nominated sensational, as one of three players, at the cost of the league's best goalie.

In addition, he was very much involved in the Three crown-awaited Olympic gold in Turin in 2006. Many of us will always remember his sick rescue club with the shaft of Olli Jokinen alleged acknowledgment of the match last trembling seconds.

Self-ranked Lundqvist another rescue at number one, against Farjestad.

- It was the last match of finalserien 2005th I do not know if the rescue was so special, but I remember it clearly. We turned the game after that, decided in the next attack and then was a long, tough season over. An incredibly nice feeling.

Today you are established in the Rangers. Not all NHL pros who awarded with his own blog on their club website.
Lundqvist looks slightly terrified of me.
- Damn, that is ... Honestly, the page should probably be closed ...

Your last post is dated 8 October! 2008!
- Eh, I'm too ...

... Lazy? Absent-minded?
- Yes, you found two good descriptions there. I am not a computer man, simply. I got Facebook last summer and has been logged three times and have maybe 30 friends. When I was home this summer, I promised everyone that now I'll start using Facebook. I've logged in twice since then. I check my email and read Swedish news, it's really the only thing I do on the computer. Giving on a blog was doomed to fail.

What keeps you in touch with your friends?

- I'm terribly bad at it. I have always been. I like that where I am, where I live, and then I am so evident in the fact that I do not think of anything else. It was the same when I moved to Gothenburg from Bastad. Then it was Gothenburg in force. The really old friends I keep in touch with, but it is still difficult. It creates a new life with new routines where you are, and when I moved to New York, it was also a completely different time zone. It is in itself a poor excuse.

You are born in the sign of the fish. Fish's positive qualities are said to be: kind, honest, reliable, receptive, intuitive, sensual, artistic, inspirational, spiritual, sentimental, intellectual, charming, deep, elegant, dramatic and flirtatious.
- It 's like all the positive characteristics you can have!

Negative characteristics are: sloppy, absent-minded, easily led, secretive, hypersensitive, impatient and evasive.
- Haha, some pieces is really good, I must admit. They are not completely way off. We are banging up against the ninth avenue and find a small restaurant that serves organic food. Lundqvist's only requirement is pasta. Pasta and oatmeal are major constituents of his everyday diet.

When you are running as much as we need to ensure that eat between practices and games, otherwise you do not feel.

Laws on your own?
- What?

Oatmeal porridge?
- Yes, actually, but it is also the only thing I do to food at home.

Boil porridge - or microwaved it?
- I used to actually cook, but lately it has become the microwave. It becomes less disk.

The choice now seems to fettucine with fresh basil and green pesto. Mineral water to it, thanks.

A waitress with red-and vitrutig kerchief on her head and smiles blush easy recognition when she received Lundqvist's order. We beat ourselves down on either window bar stool at the counter and observed the Monday slum people in New York life in the street outside.

- I remember my first year here. Every time I drove the car to match and saw the Manhattan skyline in front of me, I thought that now I'll go and play the game in Madison Square Garden. Then I thought it was, well, maybe not ridiculous, but great fun that I have reached here. Now I have taken it to an everyday level. You become a bit jaded.

And so have you moved to Manhattan.
- Yes, but every time I drive in from the training I think about how lucky I had just stuck here.

Rather than in Buffalo or Pittsburgh?
- I had probably had a totally different life.

With wife and children?
- Probably. It'll be so easy, if only for the girlfriend's sake. Here in New York there is so much to do for Therese all the time, even when I'm not at home. It is a completely different pace than in most other cities and it suits us. We have it good we have it and do not feel that it is time for the family for a while yet. But I may just have to see what it does up close now that my brother has taken that step.

Can you imagine starting a family here in New York?
- Yes, I think I am. In all cases the first five years. Since when is school and stuff you might want to move home, but it works right here with it.

It sounds as if you plan to stay here for a while?
- I have five years left on my current contract, and hope I will stay here another five years. Why not? I feel incredibly good and can not see myself changing the law. Although it is difficult to sit here and say what you think of it in five years, it feels as if I still want to play here my whole career.
Although it most likely means that you will not get to be about winning the Stanley Cup?
- I want to win! Win the games, play well, win the Stanley Cup. It's what drives me, and we may just sue and have a little float, I think we have a chance to go the whole way.

Would you sign a year for, say, Edmonton Oilers, with half the salary if it guaranteed you a Stanley Cup win?
- Halve the salary as well ... Did you have to put it? Eh, if it was the end of my career, I would do it, absolutely.

Is money so important?
- It was not so long career over here. Tell them that you can hold on for 10, 15 years, while it is normal to work in maybe 40th So it is clear that money is important.

Lundqvist takes note and we head down to the photo studio. Wearing a white shirt, light blue lammullströja, tight dark blue corduroy pants and high indigo canvasdojor he would hardly need to be styled. Barely makeup either, it turns out.

Usually see hockey with a few pros on your neck like a cross between Freddie Kreuger and ... Borje Salming. But forced to make up artist, almost a bit disappointed, to say everything that needs to be fixed on Lundqvist is a paltry small scar on the left temple.

- I have my mask on, he will excuse himself, as if he would like to have excluded some teeth and a broken nasal bone to boast.

But there's no risk. Lundqvist has still not been implicated in a single råkurr since he came over to the NHL.

- It has happened that I patched to the people, but I have never thrown the gloves.

Located at old fashioned goalie fights a time gone?
- No, but it occurs less frequently. We go around the course and not tackling each other as outfield players do, so we must not quite the same adrenaline surcharge.

But let us say that Toronto's giant Swedish Jonas 'Monster' Gustavsson would skate against you?
- Gustavsson, haha! I do not think we'll be fighting between compatriots. Then I'll prefer a Canadian.
What are you thinking when you see old black and white images of "Honken" Holmqvist without a helmet, with staring eyes, poised to save yet another resounding nature shots with boiler bacon?
- Yes, my God ... I do not get how he dared to stand without a mask! It was probably at that time claim that goalkeepers are a bit mad was born. It is in itself not compare the shots we get at us today with the future, but it does not matter, even a loose shot in the face of Satan do painful. Even with the mask on.

Do you even know you gun-shy?
- Jaaa, I remember when I was in Russia with junior and broke his jaw. I got a slap shot on one side of the mask and went to the jawbone on the other. The rest of that week, I stood on his heels a bit, I can say. I have pain somewhere after every match and every practice.

After a short deliberation, decide and make up artist Lundqvist common to tredagarsstubbet not need trimming. Frillan works fine with it. A little foundation under the eyes, the nose and the forehead is all it takes.

Inside the test cell, however, to encounter problems as soon as possible. It turns out that Henry's so-called "hockey butt will not fit in a single pair of pants that stylist borrowed to shoot.

- Did not I size 52? he asks, a little thoughtfully while he vainly tries to peddle a few gray suit pants over your thighs.

I note a bit of a joke, and quite seriously, that his knees are bent inward just like when he is in goal. He looks in the mirror as he stands in just underwear and tan MEASURED. I do not care to question him about the solformade tattoo between shoulder blades.

It all ends with the photographer decides to shoot a half-length to begin, so it works fine with Lundqvist's corduroy pants.

It is as if someone pressed a button when he is in front of the camera. He acts almost as expertly as the ice and supplies pose after pose: natural, happy, serious, dangerous, troubled, absent ...

So he is not no beginner model. Besides, he plåtats a couple of times before for Café, he appeared in both the U.S. Mens Health and GQ, he was also the Swedish clothing chain Brother's face at Christmas.

In a pause I asked him what he likes to get plates.

- It's pretty fun, you may feel in a different sector and meet some other people than you're used to.

Do you care about what you look like?
- The very appearance's impossible to do much about, it is what it is, but I care about clothes and style and how I look. The only time I go outside the door without looking me in the mirror first is when I go to workout in the morning. I am optimistic time, and likes to sleep, so I often come away at the last minute. Shall we go away to the match away directly after training, it can see some fun out, with costume hair and sprawling in all directions.

Offers you not even your poor bruised hands to a manicure at times?
- Nanana, I go to the hairdresser and cut her hair when needed. It is the only one.

A moment later the photographer stands in front of Lundqvist computer screen. He comments on a fold of his white shirt rolled up. A sensual picture of Caroline flickers past.

- Poor you, "said Lundqvist to the photographer. Another tough day at work!

After two intense hours in the photo studio, it's time to roll home. We slip into Maseratin - which is still there, neatly parked at the curb solid yellow line - and head off towards the 52nd street.

We turn into a parking garage and get out. The guard was asking him to park the car.

- Number ... 48th Or, not 48, but ... Oh, you can check it out, "said Lundqvist, smiling a bit embarrassed.

After a year in the house, Henrik Lundqvist not learned the number of its own parking.

Before we leave the car, he fishes out a bunch of wrinkled white shirts from the back seat, and we turn to the dry cleaners around the corner. When we get out on the sidewalk, he takes a few steps out into the street and pointing straight up in the sky.

- Where is my apartment, where the lights in the living room. And above the terrace overlooking the whole town will be my absolute favorite place in New York.

Parade Apartments Located in Hell's Kitchen and he bought it for over a year ago. At the top of the house, with huge terrace and two floors.

- By Swedish standards, the very expensive, "he says. But it was an okay price to be in midtown Manhattan.

In recent months the floor, however, was uninhabitable because Therese Lundqvist and implement a comprehensive renovation.

- We blow out all over the floor and a lot on the upper floor and terrace. It's a hell of projects. It took nine months just to get the drawings approved! And they discover that you did something that is not in the drawings must be done about the whole process. Therese works as an interior designer so she has been in almost everything. She has been meeting with the architect today to be informed if we can move in a few days, or two weeks ... It changes all the time, but it's apparently how it works here in New York.

Speaking of New York: What was it like to be involved in David's show?
- Oh, it was not so much. We were there, drove the "Top Ten" list, and carried the Madonna in a pair of hockey sticks.

Madonna Be Cool?
- We talked a bit and she was pretty funny actually. Or ... it was more so that she joked around with us.

Would not one's own talk show for you?
- Hmmm ... I think it's fun with radio and television. Perhaps because it is so far from what I do now, although it basically is all about entertainment in both cases.

When we are outside the giant glass-enclosed lobby of the skyscraper, a large black dog racing against Lundqvist, a curly-haired blonde in tow.

Lundqvist lit up when he gets two paws dirty in the chest. The dog is his, Nova, and the blonde is his girlfriend Therese.

Suddenly you hear a ringing tone. Lundqvist fish off her black iPhone and apologize.

- I have to take this.

After just a few sentences, he begins to tan high. He hangs up and shakes his head.

- There is a guy in the club who helped me to get tickets to the Broadway show Rock of Ages tomorrow, but I had forgotten that I'm going to Madison Square Garden and do stuff with the fans the same time. So we're gonna go on Wednesday instead, but then it is no idea so now he wants to know what to do. I drive around with him, haha. But he may resist.

This luxury apartment, one million in weekly earnings and a guy who book Broadway tickets to you ... Do you think that this dream life may actually run out tomorrow - as when you collided with the car?
- Well, you do not think so. But I realize you I have been lucky. I live the life I always dreamed of. Things can happen with one yourself, or someone in the family, and given what happened in this city eight years ago with the World Trade Center, you will realize that it applies to take the opportunity to enjoy even of his career while it lasts. The older guys on the team reminds us often that is a little young for it. For when his career is over is over, and it goes fast. I have started to feel it yourself, suddenly you are 27 years ... You have to take this opportunity to live while you can!

No World Cup for Henrik Lundqvist

NEW YORK / LONDON. Late night news came from Henrik Lundqvist via SMS. He announced Sportbladet that there will be no World Cup game for him:
- The knee is not better, so I have to say no. It is both physically and mentally tough to play the World Cup when you are not 100 percent.
Last Sunday was Bengt-Åke Gustafsson start dreaming about Henrik Lundqvist in the World Cup. New York Rangers missed the Stanley Cup finals after a decisive loss against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Must take care of his body
But there will be no World Cup games for the star goalkeeper, although he worked hard to get there. Injury problems are too big and he must take care of his body instead.
Games taped
The final weeks of regular season play Lundqvist with taped knee. Go when the season was over for the Rangers, he continued to rehab training to get ready for the World Cup. But he closed the door yesterday when he delivered the news to Sportbladet:
- I've been running a week and rehab the knee does not improve, so I have to say no. It's not okay to go. It is both physically and mentally tough to play the World Cup when you are not 100 percent.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Henrik Lundqvist and fans


Since there's no news today, I thought I would post some photos of Henrik with his fans. If you have a picture with Henrik and you would like to share it, leave me a comment. If you decide to send your photo to me, I will post it.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Lundqvist remains a constant


In the fast-paced world of professional sports change is the norm, whether from year-to-year, week-to-week, day-to-day, or, in the National Hockey League, from shift-to-shift.

However for the last five seasons the New York Rangers have greatly benefitted from one true constant, not only game-to-game, but one year after another.

“Hank is our most valuable player, our rock that we rely on,” Brandon Dubinsky said of 28-year-old goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. “We know that he is always back there ready to make the big save when we need it. He gives us our confidence.”

Since arriving on Broadway to start the 2005-06 season, Lundqvist has been consistently the Rangers best, and most reliable, player. He has recorded 30 wins or more in each of his first five NHL seasons, the first goalie in league history to do so, and has appeared in 70 or more games four years in a row.

As durable as he is skilled, Lundqvist provides the Rangers a certain comfort zone game-in and game-out. His coaches and teammates know what to expect every night with No. 30 between the pipes.

“I don’t worry about Hank at all,” stated Rangers head coach John Tortorella. “He is not only one of the best goaltenders in the world, he is as mentally tough as they come, and he’s a battler, a fighter. That’s what I love most about him, the way he competes every night.”

This past season Lundqvist appeared in a career-high 73 games, including the last 17 in a row as the Rangers desperately chased a playoff spot. Lundqvist ranked eighth in the league with a solid 2.38 goals against average, seventh with a .921 save percentage which was the second best mark of his NHL career so far, and tenth with 35 victories.

Perhaps even more important than his impressive statistics, Lundqvist carried the Blueshirts when the club struggled mightily to get its offense going through much of the year. On a nightly basis Lundqvist gave his team an excellent chance to win.

No better example of this can be found than the Swedish netminder’s sterling performance in the winner-take-all season finale against the Philadelphia Flyers down at the Wachovia Center. The Rangers were outshot 47-25, but Lundqvist turned in one sensational save after another, surrendering only a power play goal to Matt Carle over 65 minutes of action.

That the Rangers fell 2-1 in the shootout was in no way a reflection on Lundqvist, who was magnificent in defeat, prompting team captain Chris Drury to say afterwards, “I feel most bad for Henrik. He was sensational. I feel like we let him down.”

“I’m pretty happy with the way I played down the stretch,” said Lundqvist. “I think I gave us a chance to win every night. We didn’t make it (into the playoffs), but what makes me feel a little bit better is that I know I did everything I could, and everyone in here did, too. It just wasn’t enough, and we have to accept that. We have to be better next year. I have to be better.”

The final game of the season in Philly marked the 45th time during the 2009-10 campaign that Lundqvist allowed two goals or fewer, a truly remarkable number. It was also his fourth game with 40 or more saves on the season.

Not surprisingly Lundqvist was selected as the Rangers Most Valuable Player at the end of the season in a vote conducted by the Professional Hockey Writers Association. It marked the fourth year in a row that Lundqvist had received the honor, the first time in franchise history that a player secured the award four years straight. Only Hall-of-Fame defenseman Brian Leetch, who won the award a total of six times, has been named team MVP more often than Lundqvist.

“He is just unbelievable,” star winger Marian Gaborik said of Lundqvist. “Hank is so consistent, so reliable. He is definitely one of the best goaltenders in the whole world.”

Don’t expect the high praise, accolades, and awards to interfere with Lundqvist’s drive to win a Stanley Cup, however. The three-time Vezina Trophy finalist feels even more driven after the Blueshirts failed to make the post-season this year, the first time in his career that he is on the outside looking in at the Stanley Cup playoffs.

It is a position he does not like.

“Our goal as a club is to have a good year, but to have an even better playoffs,” explained Lundqvist. “It hurts right now (not being in the playoffs). I can’t even find the right words. It’s just so disappointing. We have to find a way to be better next year.”

Next season Tortorella hopes to cut back on the number of starts Lundqvist makes, not because his No. 1 goalie does not excel during the regular season, but more so because the plan is to play another two months in the playoffs.

That was the plan this year, too, but the course was altered when inexperienced rookies Chad Johnson and Matt Zaba were forced to share the role of Lundqvist’s back up, and the coaching staff was leery about playing them too often. Veteran Alex Auld arrived later in the season, but Tortorella felt the need to play Lundqvist every game what with the Rangers’ playoff hopes hanging in the balance at that point.

“Hank had a really good year,” explained Tortorella. “I’d really like to get him to 65 or so (games played), but I simply could not do it this year. You look at Stanley Cup winners, and that’s eventually what we are trying to get to, goalies who (play somewhat fewer games) are the guys who are winning (championships).”

No matter how many games he plays next season, Lundqvist is firmly entrenched as the Rangers’ No. 1 in net. And as such he has a straight-forward message for his teammates.

“Whoever is going to be here in September has to realize that we have to do much better because this is not where we want to be,” declared Lundqvist. “We expect more of ourselves. We want to be a good playoff team. That’s our goal.”

Monday, April 19, 2010

More random Henrik Lundqvist pictures


No news today, so here's some random pictures. Enjoy.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Lundqvist waiting for World Cup clearance


LOS ANGELES. A troublesome knee ligaments in the one doing that Henrik Lundqvist will return to give any information about the World Cup.
- I've talked to Bengan and announced that I would have to run rehabilitation workout for a few days before I can give no information, "said Henrik Lundqvist to

Three crowns coach, Bengt-Ake Gustafsson, may therefore have patience for another few days for World Cup news from Henke.
- I decide in the next week, says the New York Rangers goalie star.

What determines whether you accept?
- How I feel physically.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Henrik Lundqvist random pictures


It doesn't seem like there is any Henrik Lundqvist news today, so I'm going to post some random pictures. (which I will do whenever there's no news) Enjoy.

Henrik Lundqvist Swedish video interview (4/15/10)


Friday, April 16, 2010

Lundqvist hungry for World Cup games

Several heavy NHL Swedes turned down Team Sweden in the World Cup.
But now suddenly opens up Henrik Lundqvist for the game in the championship.
- I feel more suction for the World Cup today than I did for just three days ago, "he told SVT Sport.

Henrik Lundqvist, whose club New York Rangers did not get to the playoffs, now open for play in the Three Crowns.
"The feeling is growing"
- It's the same every year. Go when you lost, you do not even think about hockey. But then comes crawling feeling, you want to go there and play for Sweden. The feeling is growing stronger by the day, "he told SVT.
If rehab (for his knee and hip) training is progressing as planned would Lundqvist World Cup


Henrik Lundqvist on Princess Madeleine of Sweden: "You can say that we are friends"

NEW YORK. Love Crisis with Jonas Bergström was too much for Princess Madeleine. Now she travels to New York.
Where she gets the support of his unknown networks - including the hockey star Henrik Lundqvist.
- You can say that we are friends, "he says.
After Aftonbladet's disclosure that Madeleine and Jonas is not getting married this year, leaving the Princess to Sweden for New York. There, her official mission to work with the organization World Childhood Foundation - Queen Silvia foundation for the vulnerable children.
But the trip to the United States is also an escape from the ongoing crisis of love.
- Madeleine is completely destroyed by what is written. She does not want anyone to know how hard it is and think it's nice to go away, "says a friend.
And New York is one of Madeleine's favorite places where she wants to remain anonymous. She can move relatively freely and often go there on vacation.
"She is nice"
In 2006 Madeleine lived there as well with Jonas for over half a year. Over the years, the Princess also built up a large network in New York. One of his friends are hockey star Henrik Lundqvist.
- They have known each other for a few years and last year was supported by Henry Madeleine when she visited New York. Then it was too shaky between her and Jonas, "says a friend.
Madeleine Henry met through mutual friends.
- She is nice. But I will not be here. Everything hangs on the World Cup and how I post planning. Last we met was at a charity event and I know it is not anything scheduled for spring, "he says.
- I think that her closer friends are there when it's tough.
Several cache
Madeleine has several hiding places where she can take refuge when she wants to be in peace
in New York. Either she stays with friends or visit the exclusive members clubs in Manhattan.
While the princess will travel to the U.S. Jonas staying at home in Sweden and is continuing with its work at the prestigious law firm Vinge.
- I do not think he will visit Madeleine in New York. She has not said anything about it anyway, "says a friend.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The origin behind the Henrik Lundqvist-Aaron Voros victory handshake


By now you've probably seen the Henrik Lundqvist-Aaron Voros victory handshake. (I posted a video of it: But what you may not know is the origin behind it. Months ago, before the Rangers got into a losing streak which lasted well into March, Aaron Voros was a very active member of Twitter. Fans would ask him questions and he would respond. One fan who had noticed the handshake after a recent Rangers victory, decided to ask Voros how they came up with it. He responded by saying that Henrik had attended a New York Knicks game in which he sat near Jay-Z and Diddy. Henrik saw Jay-Z and Diddy perform their handshake which inspired him to create his own. I was able to find a couple of pictures of Henrik at this game, which was the N.Y Knicks vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Look closely behind Diddy and Jay-Z and you will see Henrik, who was there with a bunch of his teammates.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wayne Gretzky on Henrik Lundqvist: "He's one of the best goaltenders in the world"


Earlier tonight, Blueshirt Banter Radio had the honor of interviewing the Great One- Wayne Gretzky. While getting his thoughts on the Rangers, Wayne expressed his thoughts about Henrik Lundqvist. Wayne called Henrik "one of the best goaltenders in the world" and went on to praise him some more. I've included the audio of the interview above so everyone can hear the greatest player who ever played hockey praise Henrik.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Henrik Lundqvist break-up day video interview


Henrik Lundqvist poster sized image

I saw this today and thought it was just outstanding. If this were a real poster, I would definitely buy it. Henrik and New York City go together perfectly. This would make a great magazine cover as well. It says it was produced by ArtDesign Germany, so shout out to them, they did an awesome job.

link to full size image:

Monday, April 12, 2010

Rangers painful loss not fit for "King"

PHILADELPHIA -- For a team that had lost most of the races and one-on-one battles, that had been hanging onto a cliff by practically the last ounce of strength in Henrik Lundqvist's grip, the Rangers yesterday still, at the end of 65 minutes, had the Flyers where they wanted them.
"[Coach] John [Tortorella] even said [before the overtime], 'Don't totally sit back, but don't let it end here, because we have a big advantage in goal in the shootout,' " said Erik Christensen.
The Rangers, 7-1-1 just to get to one game for eighth place, had kept borrowing time, and Lundqvist was stealing them another two weeks. Apprehension filled the house down to the Flyers' bench.
"It's a little bit ironic, how this happens, Lundqvist being probably the best shootout goalie in the league, along with Ryan Miller," Danny Briere would say later. "The Rangers have been pretty successful and the Flyers haven't in shootouts."
Claude Giroux, the Flyers' third shooter, begged Briere, the first, to "please score and take the pressure off me." The Flyers, with their third-string goalie, Brian Boucher, weren't going to beat Lundqvist in a shootout on his worst day, and certainly not on his best, which yesterday just might have been in five Rangers seasons.
Tortorella called Lundqvist "terrific" and still was damning his goalie with faint praise. Fighting screens, rebounds and the desperate pounding of a team talented enough to have clinched a playoff berth a week ago, Lundqvist stopped Simon Gagne seven times, Jeff Carter six, Braydon Coburn five and Matt Carle four.
Carle got a fifth one by Lundqvist 6:54 into the third period, on a rebound after Artem Anisimov, who might have been the Rangers' best player yesterday, got a little too ambitious on the penalty kill and had the puck lifted at center by Carter.
Nevertheless, seconds later Lundqvist was coming across to stop Gagne, two-on-one with Daniel Carcillo, and if the goalie got lucky when the puck came back off the crossbar, he was earning his every break.
The best save of the night was soon to follow, on James van Riemsdyk's one-timer through a screen off a broken-down Coburn point drive. Lundqvist stopped Giroux on the rebound, too, to get the Rangers to the overtime, the object of which strictly was to get them to the shootout.
"I wasn't thinking about that, just concentrating on the job," Lundqvist said. "I was pretty tired."
So much shooting had the Flyers done -- 78 counting misses and blocks -- their arms by then could have been hanging limply by their sides. But Briere faked backhand, went forehand and lifted the puck halfway up the net.
Christensen went right-to-left and Boucher got it with his blocker. After Mike Richards fired wide, Boucher put his paddle down, but couldn't keep P.A. Parenteau's shot from riding up and over to tie it.
It was down to Giroux, who closed inside the hash marks and snapped the puck between Lundqvist's legs. Tortorella passed up his best player, Marian Gaborik, for one of his worst, Olli Jokinen, who had a better record in shootouts, and lost when Boucher stopped a backhander.
Game. Season.
"It's over, and it [stinks]," said Lundqvist, terse, exhausted, devastated and ultimately human.
Said Brandon Dubinsky, "He's been our backbone all season. It hurts that we didn't get the job done for him. He deserved that."
A season's worth of the Rangers' dirty laundry inevitably came out in the Game 82 wash. And still who in the end would have thought Briere and Giroux would beat Henrik Lundqvist clean?

Read more:

Lundqvist spectacular save vs. Giroux 4/11/10


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Rangers come up on short end of OT thriller at Philly

There will not be a fifth consecutive playoff berth for the Rangers this year.

Despite a great stretch run in which the team amassed a 7-1-2 record, and despite a simply fantastic 46-save performance from goaltender Henrik Lundqvist on Sunday afternoon, the Rangers were defeated by the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 in a game decided by the shootout at the Wachovia Center.

The most painful ending imaginable short-circuited the Rangers’ magical late season playoff push one point shy of a post-season berth.

“Both teams go through it so certainly we are not going to whine with how the situation is,” Rangers head coach John Tortorella said of having his team’s season end in a shootout. “In all honesty when it got down to the shootout I thought we had the advantage, with no disrespect to their shooters, but Henrik was terrific today. I thought we had a pretty good chance there, but it didn’t work out.”

Claude Giroux’s score in the third round of the shootout proved to be the game-winner when Flyers’ goalie Brian Boucher stuffed Olli Jokinen’s attempt that followed. Earlier Danny Briere had scored for Philly in the first round of the shootout and PA Parenteau had countered in Round Two for the Rangers.

“Obviously we were confident heading into the shootout,” said defenseman Marc Staal. “I mean shootouts are a toss-up, a shot an inch or two one way or the other changes everything. It’s tough for (Lundqvist) playing the way he did for us down the stretch. I feel badly for him.”

With the Flyers buzzing all game long, the Rangers finally let their precarious hold of a 1-0 lead slip away early in the third period. As Parenteau watched from the penalty box, Philly’s Matt Carle scored a power play goal off a scramble in front to tie the game at the 6:54 mark of the final period.

One minute later Lundqvist made an unbelievable save, lunging in a full-stretch to his right to rob a Simon Gagne one-timer, to make sure that the Flyers did not make it two goals on two shots after being denied on their first 35.

With eight minutes left to play, Lundqvist came through again for his team, making a pair of amazing right-pad saves in succession on James Van Riemsdyk and Claude Giroux. And overtime was not guaranteed until Lundqvist hugged the post to thwart Daniel Carcillo’s eight-foot snap shot with 14.6 seconds left to play in regulation.

“I’m just so empty and disappointed right now,” Lundqvist said after the game. “We’ve been working really hard the last few weeks to try to get here. I don’t know what to say. It’s empty and tough.”

Lundqvist made two more saves in the five-minute overtime, though it was the Rangers with the best opportunity to win the game during the extra session. Marian Gaborik gained a step on the defense to break in on left wing, but his quick wrist shot was kicked out by the left skate of Boucher with a minute to go.

“To have it come down to a shootout in the last game of the year and then to get knocked off, it’s pretty disappointing,” explained team captain Chris Drury. “I just feel really bad for Henrik because that was one of the best games I’ve ever seen him play, and we didn’t get much in the way of offense for him. Then it comes down to a tough shootout loss.”

The Flyers pulled out all the stops to get their team and raucous crowd extra energized before the start of the game, even dusting off a vintage video circa the 1970’s of Kate Smith singing “God Bless America” instead of Lauren Hart’s usual rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner”.

And though Philly came bursting from the gates, it was the Rangers who scored the clutch first goal early in the first period. Jody Shelley, who put the Rangers up 2-1 on Friday night with his first goal of the season, gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 3:27 with his second goal in as many games.

With his back to the net Shelley redirected Michal Rozsival’s right-point shot past Boucher as the Rangers’ fourth line delivered another huge shift in the club’s exciting late-season push.

“Our fourth line was our best line the last two games,” Lundqvist said of Shelley, Artem Anisimov, and Brandon Prust. “They played great. But it’s tough to win two games against Philly when your fourth line is your best line.”

However the Rangers could not build any momentum off Shelley’s score, and instead the Flyers took over the first period with a voracious forecheck the key to their play. Fortunately for the Rangers, Lundqvist was simply sensational over the course of the opening 20 minutes, stopping all 18 shots he faced.

Perhaps his most important stop came 90 seconds after the Rangers grabbed their 1-0 advantage. Flyers’ captain Mike Richards stripped Rangers’ defenseman Anders Eriksson of the puck between the circles and broke in on Lundqvist, who made a huge blocker save to preserve the visitors’ lead.

The play was eerily reminiscent of one that took place 40 seconds into Friday’s contest when Richards stole the puck from Marc Staal in the same spot and scored the first goal of the game. This time Lundqvist made the bigger play.

Lundqvist caught a break at the 11-minute mark of the first period when Carle split the Rangers’ defense and fired a rocket off the crossbar. As the puck caromed off iron, it banked off the back of Lundqvist’s skate, but ended up sliding wide of the goal post.

“He was terrific, just terrific,” Tortorella said of Lundqvist, who played in his career-high 73rd game of the season on Sunday. “That’s a pretty good offensive team, and we knew they would come hard at us in the first period. But he was terrific for us.”

The Rangers and Flyers played a more even second period. After being outshot 18-4 in the opening period, the Rangers managed nine shots against Boucher in the middle stanza, though they also surrendered 12.

The fact that the game remained 1-0 in favor of the Rangers heading into the third period was due to Lundqvist, who denied all 30 shots through 40 minutes of play. Whether flashing his glove to snare a wicked Gagne slap shot two minutes into the middle period or sprawling spread-eagled on the ice to keep Jeff Carter and Scott Hartnell at bay halfway through the period, Lundqvist was clearly at the top of his game.

“He was unbelievable,” Gaborik said of Lundqvist. “He kept us in there the whole game. They had so many chances and Hank was just unbelievable against them.”

Emotions also escalated on both sides during the second period. Aaron Voros and Ian Laperriere took part in a center-ice scrap, Shelley drove Carcillo to the bench with a crushing check, and Chris Pronger delivered a bomb on Shelley several minutes later.

“It was a game everybody was excited to play and it was exciting for everyone who watched,” explained Gaborik. “It’s just too bad with the outcome. It’s disappointing to end it like this. It’s tough to describe right now.”

Lundqvist "empty" after devestating season-ending loss in Philly

Lundqvist looked like he was going to cry, and was brief compared to what he usually does in terms of post-game interviews.
Asked if he felt good going into the shootout, given how he’d played:
“Not really. I was dead tired.”
“I can’t analyze. You have to ask someone else to analyze the game. I can analyze me. I’m just so empty right now. I don’t know what to say.”
“We got close. We did what we could the last few weeks here to get back in the race. I think we worked hard. I think they were better tonight though. I felt we couldn’t hold onto pucks too long. Our fourth line was out best line the last two games and they played great, but it’s going to be tough to win two games against Philly when the fourth line’s the best line.”
“I don’t know what to say. It’s empty and tough.”
“They made good moves, but going into the shootout, I was pretty beat up. It was a tough, intense game. It was pretty tight. I was focused, but they made two pretty good moves. They waited and waited and I tried to be patient. But not much to say. The season’s over and it sucks.”

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Rangers to play for a playoff berth on Sunday


The Flyers’ best chances to pull even came with five minutes left to play. Henrik Lundqvist was forced to make a series of spectacular saves as Philadelphia skated on the power play. Lundqvist stopped all 10 shots he faced in the wild third period, and finished with 24 saves overall.

As the clock ticked off the final seconds off the penalty kill, The Garden Faithful erupted with chants of “Hen-rik! Hen-rik!”

“They were all over us there for a few minutes, but we held on,” said Lundqvist. “To come out of here with a win was huge.”|NYR|home

Friday, April 9, 2010

Lundqvist Rangers MVP for fourth straight year

The Rangers’ MVP, voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers Association, was awarded to Henrik Lundqvist. This is the fourth consecutive year that Lundqvist has won the award, which marks the most consecutive years an individual has been named Rangers’ MVP.
Lundqvist currently ranks fifth in the NHL in saves (1,872) and sixth in time on ice (4,078:49). He has recorded four shutouts this season, while ranking ninth in the NHL in goals against average (2.40) and 11th in wins (34). Lundqvist is the only goalie in NHL history to post 30-or-more wins in each of his first five seasons, and the first Rangers goaltender in team history to post five straight 30-win seasons.

Congratulations Henrik, you deserve it.

Let's hear it for New York..Let's go Rangers!!


In honor of the most important game of the season thus far, I have decided to post the brillant video of the Rangers victory song, (and one of my favorites as well) "Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys.

Rangers fate is in Lundqvist's hands

Hank got the yank Tuesday night after being beaten three times as clean as his coach finally came yesterday about why he did it.
"[Henrik Lundqvist] gave up three goals in six scoring chances, two of them at bad angles," John Tortorella said. "After the [2-2] first period, I said, 'You know what, he deserves to try to battle through this.' [But] I just didn't think he was sharp.
"We felt at that point of time Alex Auld would give us the best chance."
Just one more loss, and it's "Auld Lang Syne" to the postseason for the Rangers after four consecutive appearances, no time for failure by a world-class goalie whose play all season has been begging for teammates to rise to his level.

One of only three points the Rangers have failed to win during a 6-1-1 surge slipped away when Lundqvist let in a goal from behind the goal line late in the third period in Toronto. The other two points, Tuesday night in Buffalo, were being lost as Tortorella applied the hook.
It was partly, he conceded, to save Lundqvist's body for an elimination game 23 hours later. Tortorella also did it because he didn't have to worry about saving Lundqvist's psyche.
"I know Hank can handle that," said Tortorella. "Look, we're not getting in without Hank."
The Rangers took it to the final weekend with a perfunctory 5-1 win over the conference bottom-feeding Maple Leafs, who, overwhelmed during a three-goal Rangers first period, eventually worked up a sweat only in the offensive end. They didn't have dead-on chances but several potential killers, including their goal by Dion Phaneuf, came through screens.
"A big part of the game was trying to find the puck," Lundqvist said. "And he saw almost everything as clearly as he did the big picture from the bench in Buffalo.
"I could have stopped some of those goals, sure, but I don't think I played bad," he said. "I was surprised, sure, but I just have to deal with it.
"It's part of being a goalie. Sometimes you don't agree with getting pulled, but it really doesn't matter in the end. It's John's decision and I just have to deal with it. It's important to me to let it go.
"I had time during the game to think about that game. When we left the rink I started to think about this game. I was pretty determined."
The Rangers haven't always been as determined as their goalie this season. When they left for their six-game trip, Lundqvist knew he would go down fighting, but last night he admitted to being certain he was going down regardless.
"A couple weeks ago I thought we were out," he said. "So it's fun to be here. We never gave up and we're back in the race."
That race is three horses for two places, but the Rangers don't have to worry about Boston getting only one point in their three remaining games if they win both games this weekend against a Philadelphia team that, playing with a third-string goalie and without leading goal scorer Jeff Carter, also believes it has gotten its act together in the nick of time.
"We know we have to win both, but it's one at a time," said Lundqvist.
And if it gets down to just one, who would you want in your net in that one: Brian Boucher or Henrik Lundqvist?
Of all the questions asked about the Rangers' ability to pull this off, that one is ridiculous.

Read more:

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Rangers blow away Leafs, eye showdown with Flyers

Erik Christensen set the tone by scoring the first of his two goals just 21 seconds into the contest, and the Rangers played an extremely inspired game in defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-1 on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.

With their victory, the Rangers -- 6-1-1 in their last eight games -- now have 84 points, one behind the Boston Bruins for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Blueshirts also trail the seventh-place Philadelphia Flyers by only two points; and the two clubs will close out the regular season with a huge home-and-home set Friday at MSG and Sunday afternoon at the Wachovia Center.

“We wanted to make the Philly games count, and they do now,” said Rangers head coach John Tortorella. “It’s within us now. We don’t have to look at the (score)board anymore. It’s right in front of us. It’s going to be in our building and in their building.”

Henrik Lundqvist, who was pulled from Tuesday’s 5-2 defeat up in Buffalo, rebounded with a solid 26-save performance. Brandon Dubinsky played a strong all-around game and finished with a pair of assists, while Christensen contributed his second two-goal game of the season.

Lundqvist lost his shutout bid with 11:51 left to play when Toronto’s Dion Phaneuf powered a slap shot through a screen and into the cage to make the score 3-1. Just under three minutes later, Olli Jokinen batted the puck off of Toronto goalie Jonas Gustavsson to restore the Rangers’ three-goal lead. And with 7:25 remaining Aaron Voros notched his third goal of the season to put the game away.

“We stayed cool and played smart the whole game,” said Lundqvist. “We have showed that when we play our best, we are a pretty good team. And today we just went after them, didn’t react. We took charge. That’s when we are at our best.”

Less than 24 hours after their disappointing loss to the Sabres, the desperate Rangers exploded for a three-goal first period as they thoroughly dominated the Maple Leafs all over The Garden ice.

The onslaught began just 21 seconds into the game’s first shift when Christensen jammed a Dubinsky centering pass from behind the net underneath Gustavsson. So emotional was Christensen over his first goal in 13 games that he threw himself full force into the glass behind Toronto’s net to celebrate as the crowd erupted.

“This is the start you wish for, especially in the situation in which we are at,” said Vinny Prospal. “I think the team responded and came out of the gate really strong, and that set the tone for the entire game.”

Following Christensen’s game-opening goal the Rangers sent wave after wave of determined forecheckers into the offensive zone, creating numerous turnovers and scoring chances in the process. So relentless were the Rangers that just eight minutes into the contest they already held an 11-1 advantage in shots on goal.

Gustavsson, however, was fantastic between the pipes for the Maple Leafs, turning aside one excellent scoring chance after another for the home team. Finally midway through the period Gustavsson was broken by the Rangers, who scored twice in a 30-second span to triple their advantage.

“It’s great to see how we took control of the game and didn’t wait for anything to happen,” said Lundqvist. “We made sure that we set the tempo. We did a good job.”

Prospal scored at 10:26 and Christensen added his second of the period at 10:56 to boost the Rangers’ lead to 3-0.

Prospal cashed in the rebound of Olli Jokinen’s foiled breakaway attempt. Michal Rozsival hit Jokinen in perfect stride with a gorgeous blueline-to-blueline pass that sent the center in alone on Gustavsson. The Maple Leafs goalie made a terrific pad stop, but Prospal, trailing the play, hammered the rebound into the back of the cage to put the Rangers up 2-0.

The goal was Prospal’s 20th of the season, marking the fifth time in his NHL career that Prospal has reached the 20-goal plateau.

“It’s a great play by Vinny Prospal just following up,” said Tortorella. “You see so many players watch and they don’t get that chance or that opportunity to score. It was a big goal for us.”

On the very next shift, the Rangers struck again. Dubinsky stole the puck at center ice, quickly sent a pass to Marian Gaborik at the blueline, and Gaborik, in turn, sent Christensen in with a perfect saucer pass towards the middle of the ice. Christensen slipped a backhand shot between Gustavsson’s pads for his second goal of the game, and eighth of the season.

Gaborik earned an assist on the goal, his 84th overall point on the season, establishing a new single-season career-best. He had previously recorded 83 points with the Minnesota Wild two seasons ago.

“It’s nice, but the most important thing, for me and everyone else in this room, is to win the next two games,” Gaborik said of reaching 84 points.

The Rangers came within inches of taking a four-goal lead in the first period, but Chris Drury’s left-wing slap shot off a shorthanded rush caught the crossbar behind Gustavsson at 17:25. In all, the Rangers fired 18 shots on goal in their dominating first period.

The second period was scoreless and more evenly played, although the Rangers remained in control throughout. Lundqvist was strong when challenged, which was not all that often. His best save actually came late in the opening period when he robbed Phil Kessel on a breakaway with 20 seconds to play.

At 13:43 of the second Christensen had thoughts of a hat trick dancing through his head when he burst past the Toronto defense and sped one-on-one towards Gustavsson. But before he could unleash a shot, Christensen lost control of the puck and it rolled off his stick before being pushed aside by Gustavsson.

“He could have had three or four goal tonight the way he was playing,” Gaborik said of Christensen.

Along with their offensive outburst, strong play in goal, and overall energetic effort, the Rangers also stood up to the Maple Leafs, one of the more physical clubs in the NHL this season. Jody Shelley engaged in a long heavyweight fight with former Ranger Colton Orr 2:25 into the game, and the Blueshirts followed by initiating physical play the remainder of the game.

When Gaborik was crushed from behind by Toronto defenseman Jeff Finger, Dubinsky immediately jumped to his rescue, earning double minor for roughing while throwing Finger to the ice at 8:14 of the second period.

And Brandon Prust, who was whirling dervish all night long, was a thorn in the collective side of the Maple Leafs, agitating at will, while also standing up to the rugged Phaneuf as the horn sounded to end the second period.

Now the Rangers will need to bring this same level of intensity, and even more, into the final weekend of the regular season. The Rangers hold their destiny in their own hands. Win both games, and they will have a fifth straight postseason berth.

“It’s definitely do-able, but I think it’s important that we don’t look at two games and instead just focus on one game,” said Lundqvist. “We need to put all of our energy and focus into one game. If we win that one, we move on.”|NYR|home

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Exclusive Video of Henrik Lundqvist & Aaron Voros Handshake


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Lundqvist on the loss

"I am not going to dissect it here, he just needed to come out,” Tortorella said of his decision to pull Lundqvist. “We didn’t play well enough to win. We have another game to play tomorrow and we need to be better from our goaltending on out.”

Lundqvist allowed three goals on 16 shots before being replaced by Auld, who had not appeared in a game since March 10 in New Jersey. A distraught Lundqvist, who received encouraging slaps to the shoulder pads from Tortorella upon reaching the bench, sat for several minutes with his facemask still covering his face. Eventually he lifted the mask up and let it remain perched atop his head.

“I was surprised, but at the same time it’s up to John,” Lundqvist said. “I just have to deal with it. I wanted to play, but it’s his call.”|NYR|home

Rangers slide in playoff chase with 5-2 loss to Sabres; Lundqvist pulled

BUFFALO – Despite John Tortorella’s repeated assertions that Henrik Lundqvist would be the reason the Rangers make the playoffs, the coach yanked his franchise goalie from a loss that may have sealed their postseason exclusion.

The Rangers, ending a season-high six-game road trip, had their three-game winning streak snapped in a 5-2 loss to the Sabres Tuesday night at the HSBC Arena. Lundqvist was pulled for the fifth time this season after the Sabres took a 3-2 lead at 5:17 of the second period.

The game did mark the return of Ryan Callahan to the lineup after he missed four games with an injured left knee. But the loss kept the Rangers (36-33-10) three points behind the eighth-place Bruins with three games remaining.

The ninth-place Rangers host the Maple Leafs tonight and another regulation loss would mean they can’t Philadelphia even though they end the season with a home-and-home series with the Flyers Friday and Sunday. The Flyers won in Toronto Tuesday.

The Rangers have not missed the postseason since 2004.

Meanwhile, the Sabres (44-25-10) clinched the Northeast, their first division title in three seasons. Ryan Miller stopped 29 shots, none better than when he slid to his left and somehow deflected Marian Gaborik’s shot into the netting with his stick after Brandon Dubinsky fed him going to the crease on a two-on-one. Miller also drew a roughing call at 17:30 of the third period after he scuffled with Jody Shelley.

Lundqvist, playing in his 70th game and making his 14th straight start and 22nd in the last 23 games, was removed after allowing Jochen Hecht to beat him to the far post with a shot that stayed lowed to the ice through traffic. Lundqvist faced 16 shots.

Alex Auld, who made his third appearance since being claimed on re-entry waivers from the Stars and his first since relieving Lundqvist in a 6-3 loss to the Devils on March 10, gave up two goals on 12 shots.

Toni Lydman beat Auld from the high slot at 13:22 of the second period to and Tyler Ennis made it 5-2 at 2:06 of the third period.

Still, a season that started with Tortorella saying he wanted to rest Lundqvist more, will end with the goalie reaching 70 games played for the fourth straight time and likely topping his career high of 72, which he played in 2007-08.

“I love to play, I don’t mind it now,” Lundqvist said. “I don’t feel tired. I just feel excited.”

Lundqvist’s play certainly has been one reason why the Rangers were able to re-enter the playoff race after being seven points out on March 23. Another is that the Rangers have been better about forgetting the wins as well as the losses.

And that will be key tonight.

“Especially of late, it’s been one of our biggest strengths,” Tortorella said. “I think our guys have handled themselves very well and put themselves in a good attitude no matter what they’ve gone through. I really appreciate the way they’ve been fighting.”

Callahan announced his return at 12:56 of the first period as his hard – but clean – check of 6-foot-8 Sabres rookie defenseman Tyler Myers into the corner boards caused both Lydman and Derek Roy to gang up on Callahan at the crease. Roy wound up with a cross-checking minor while Callahan was called for roughing.

Roy had tied the game at 1-1 with a power-play goal at 9:57 of the first period after gritty right wing Brandon Prust extended his career-high goal-scoring streak to three games at 6:57 as he took the puck away from Chris Butler in the slot.

P.A. Parenteau then brought the Rangers into a 2-2 tie as he stuffed in a power-play goal at 18:18 after Dan Girardi’s shot from the blue line trickled through Miller.

Lundqvist robs Tyler Ennis 4/6/10


Henrik and Voros enjoy candlelight dinner in Buffalo

Henrik and Aaron Voros enjoyed a candlelit dinner at "Mothers" Italian Restaurant in Buffalo,N.Y. From what I can tell, it looks like Henrik is eating chicken and vegetables? But I could be wrong. It looks like Voros had pasta.

The photo is courtesy of Aaron Voros' Twitter account. Nice baby blue tie, Henrik. (It's the same tie he had on one of the times I've met him.)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Lundqvist going the distance for Rangers

SUNRISE — Following practice Thursday morning in Tampa, a visitor moseyed over to the locker room area in which Henrik Lundqvist and Alex Auld dressed.
"Hello goalies," the visitor said.
"Thanks for including me in that," Auld quickly responded.
Well, at least someone does.
It’s all Lundqvist all the time for the Rangers now, with head coach John Tortorella announcing at his pre-game briefing that the King would be in net for his 13th straight start and 21st in the last 22 games for tonight’s match here against the Panthers.
Asked if he had considered using Auld following last night’s 5-0 shutout of the Lightning in Tampa in which Lundqvist made 30 saves after being staked to an early 4-0 lead, Tortorella replied, "Why would I?"

With four games remaining following tonight’s match, it appears as if Tortorella will attempt to run the table with the King. If Lundqvist does start every game the rest of the way, he will finish will 72 starts, matching his career high from 2007-08.
Auld, who was acquired on re-entry waivers from Dallas during the Olympic recess, has started one game for the Blueshirts, a 2-0 defeat in Washington on March 6.
It is, of course, risky to go with the backup in a playoff race, as Boston coach Claude Julien can attest. Monday, the Bruins went with Tim Thomas rather than Tuukka Rask against Buffalo. Three goals later, including a pair of softies, Thomas was pulled on the short end of a 3-0 score. The Bruins lost 3-2.
The Rangers, 4-0-1 in their last five, will enter tonight’s game in 10th place, one point behind the Thrashers, 4-3 overtime losers to Pittsburgh this afternoon. Atlanta has three games remaining. The Rangers are two points behind the eighth-place Flyers and seventh-place Bruins. Boston is at Toronto tonight.

Read more:

Henrik on the cover of Cafe Magazine

"We followed with monthly cover boy at home in New York and questioned him about everything from an Olympic flop to lyxvanorna that comes from earning one million a week."

Henrik is on the cover of the April 2010 issue of a Swedish magazine called Cafe. I can't seem to find the article online, so I would really appreciate it if any readers from Sweden can send me the article somehow, if not, I will try to make my way to Universal News here in NYC and see if they have a copy.

UPDATE: Today I went to Universal News and it seems that the only international magazines they sell are Italian, Spanish, French and German. If anyone knows where I can locate a Swedish magazine in NYC, please let me know. Thanks.

Post-game notes: Lundqvist Ties Richter in Shutouts

Henrik Lundqvist turned aside all 30 shots he faced to register his fourth shutout of the season, and improve to 32-26-9 overall with a 17-10-3 mark on the road this season. It was the 24th career shutout for Lundqvist, moving him into a tie with Mike Richter, Lorne Worsley and Chuck Rayner for fourth on the Rangers all-time shutouts list. Lundqvist has now posted a record of 4-0-1 in the last five games, registering a 1.76 goals against average with a .942 save percentage and two shutouts over the span.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Lundqvist on the Shutout

The Rangers, who scored four goals in the first period on Friday and received a spotless 30-save performance from goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, are also only two points back of the seventh-place Boston Bruins and four behind sixth-place Montreal.

“I think we played a simple road game,” Lundqvist said. “But now it’s very important that we just stay focused on what we have to do and not the end result of having to make the playoffs. We have to keep breaking it down to every game, every period, every shift.”

Lundqvist was forced to earn his keep later in the period, however. When the Lightning finally produced sustained pressure in the Rangers’ end, Lundqvist was there to keep the home team off of the scoreboard.

At 12:35 of the second Lundqvist stoned Brandon Bochenski from point-blank range and then followed with a sensational glove save on Mattias Ohlund’s rebound try. Following the ensuing faceoff, Lundqvist stuffed Nate Thompson who was alone in front.

Later in the second period, Lundqvist denied Martin St. Louis on a 2-on-1 shorthanded rush with Vincent Lecavalier.

The shutout was Lundqvist’s fourth of the season and 24th of his NHL career.|NYR|home