Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist has not had much opportunity to meet Avalanche coach Patrick Roy, a Hall of Fame netminder with both the Canadiens and Colorado.
And while there weren’t many NHL games on television when he was growing up in Sweden, Lundqvist does remember seeing highlights during Roy’s career and being impressed with how hard Roy competed.
“I think that stood out, he competed really hard,” Lundqvist said. “That’s what I really liked about Patrick - and Dominik Hasek – just his style. I tried out in practice what I saw them do in games.”
Lundqvist has elements of Roy’s butterfly style in his goaltending technique but said, growing up in Sweden, he was taught to be more of a stand-up goalie.
“The butterfly style is not big in Sweden,” Lundqvist said. “I’m kind of mixing the old and the new. Between 13 and 17, that’s when I got my style. But when I started, they wanted me to make the saves with my skate, not my pads. It was old school.”
But can Lundqvist ever see himself transitioning to coaching, like Roy did - first as GM/coach of the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League - once his playing career ends?
“That’s so far away, I haven’t thought about it,” said Lundqvist, who turns 32 on March 2.
But Lundqvist believes goalies should and do make good coaches because they are seeing the entire ice rink in front of them. Sort of like catchers in baseball, who historically have made some of the best managers.
“We see the game a lot,” Lundqvist said. “A lot of goalies have an understanding of what’s going on.”