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Thursday, June 21, 2012

The King Gets His Trophy


Last night, the Vezina; late next month, a baby girl on the way for Henrik Lundqvist and his wife Therese, who will have their first child in New York, where the couple will spend the remainder of the summer as the Rangers goaltender prepares for another run at the Stanley Cup.
“She’s going to be a New York baby. We’re really looking forward to that,” Lundqvist told The Post by phone from Las Vegas after the NHL Awards ceremonies in which he was named winner of the Vezina as the NHL’s outstanding goaltender in a vote of the league’s general managers.

“We went home to Sweden for about 10 days a couple of weeks ago, but now we’re going to spend the rest of the off-season in New York. We’re really excited about it.”
Lundqvist was so excited about becoming the first Ranger to win the Vezina since 1985-86 when John Vanbiesbrouck captured the award, The King actually dropped the F-bomb during his acceptance speech on the show that was televised on the NBC-Sports Network.
“I don’t know where that came from,” a chuckling Lundqvist said, reflecting on his acceptance speech that included the, ‘Oh bleep, I can’t believe this, it’s definitely a dream come true to stand up here’ language malfunction.
“There were just so many emotions going through me, I was excited, nervous, I hadn’t written anything down and I wanted to remember to thank the people most important to me,” said Lundqvist, who outdistanced Los Angeles’ Conn Smythe winner Jonathan Quick and Nashville’s Pekka Rinne in the voting.
“I wanted to make sure to thank my teammates, the organization, my family, my wife and my goaltender coach, Benny [Allaire], who I think is the best out there and is such a big reason for where I am.”
Lundqvist, who was selected to the first All-Star team while Marian Gaborik was named the second All-Star right wing, finished third in the voting for the Hart Trophy as MVP behind winner Evgeni Malkin and runner-up Steven Stamkos.
The 30-year-old netminder and his team are one day shy of four weeks removed from their Game 6 overtime Battle of the Hudson playoff elimination by the Devils in the conference finals that made 2011-12 a “so close, yet so far” season.
“I still think about it, it’s disappointing when you think of how it ended, especially when you feel you let such a good chance slip away, but I’ve accepted it and have moved on and now I’m putting all my focus on coming back and being even better next year,” he said.
“There were so many good things we accomplished and we had so much fun as a team along the way, I don’t think we should forget about that because of the way it ended.
“We should be proud of ourselves and what we accomplished,” said The King. “Now I think we all have a better idea of what it takes to go all the way.
“For myself, I came into last year wanting to challenge myself to be the very best I could be; to be better. That’s exactly the way I’m challenging myself about next year; I am determined to keep getting better.”

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