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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Henrik Lundqvist Understands Himself

This article was written during round two of the playoffs and I had wanted to post it sooner but never got around to it until now.

WASHINGTON — At a different stage of his career, Henrik Lundqvist probably wouldn’t have been able to push hockey aside the day after a draining triple-overtime victory and thus re-energize himself for the next game, the way he did Thursday in the wake of the Rangers' triple-overtime Game 3 victory against the Capitals that ended at 12:15 that morning.
But then, that would have been at a different stage of the goaltender’s life.
“I’m able to handle things like this better because I think I’ve found a better balance in my life over the last couple of years,” Lundqvist told The Post following Friday’s practice. “Even this year, over the regular season I could feel the difference in the way I was able to put the game out of mind on the off-days.

“I’m a pretty intense guy when it comes to preparation, and with the amount of mental energy that goes into playing, I needed to be able to have a different approach away from the rink, and that took some time for me.
“It’s me maturing in my life as much as in my career,” the 30-year-old said. “As a person, I’m more relaxed.”
The Rangers did the best they could to stretch their legs and empty their minds of hockey on Thursday following the classic 2-1 victory that ended with Marian Gaborik’s goal at 14:41 of the third OT.
“It’s both hockey and how I am as a person that allows me to be comfortable and have that focus,” said Lundqvist, who got away from it on Thursday by going to the movies and taking a stroll around the nation’s capital.
“As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned it’s not about proving things to people, it’s about challenging yourself, .
“Going into this year, Benny told me that 30 is a good age for a goaltender, because you understand the game,” Lundqvist said, referring to goaltending coach Benoit Allaire.“But I also understand myself.”
Thirty may be a good age for a goaltender, but it’s always good to be the King.

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