Loss in the Olympic final and loss in the Stanley Cup finals. When Henrik Lundqvist summarizes his last years, it is still not the defeats he looks back on - he remembers rather all the fun.
- You can clearly taste for being there and experiencing what it's like playing a Stanley Cup final. It gives us inspiration to come back even better, says goalkeeper star in a long interview with hockeysverige.se.
It was a season where there was not enough the whole way for Henrik Lundqvist. In February, the Olympic silver in Sochi and a few months later loss in the Stanley Cup finals with his New York Rangers. There fell one against Los Angeles 4-1 in matches. For Lundqvist personally, it was still a memorable and fun season. After a shaky start to the regular season, he grew as the season progressed and in the playoffs, he was its best and laid the foundation for rangers final journey with their game.
This summer, he has been featured extensively in the media, which he also seems to some extent to be comfortable with. Last clip on Youtube is when he, seemingly dressed for a party, get a bucket of ice water poured over himself in ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, where mainly sports stars from around the world show their support for research into the simmering omen ALS. But who pours ice water on him would not reveal when Henrik Lundqvist hockeysverige.se have a chat with him.
- It's a secret. One should not reveal too much, he laughs.
It's been a few months now since Henrik Lundqvist's Rangers lost the Stanley Cup- finals against Los Angeles. Although it stung sharply just then, he has released the loss largely and rather remember back on everything around the actual playoffs.
- Yes, yes, but I have probably released finals and moved on. Now you start thinking about next season instead. Today when you think back to the finals so it is with mixed feelings. They have many great memories from the whole trip there. Conference finals and each round you manage to win was a fun moment.
- Since the last game of course a big disappointment, but it's something you most feel in the beginning because the disappointment is the only thing you think of when you lost. Now, instead appreciate all the wonderful moments we had on the way there. It was still two months of hockey and a lot of fun memories you get from there.
Can you point to a detail that Rangers lacked in the finals?
- Float (laughs)! I mean we have neutrals and pole shot in each overtime. There is a millimeter away from us to get completely different results in all the matches that we played in LA.
- Of course we can analyze and come to the conclusion that we could do several things better, but overall, we are still there. Rather than post out we had had pole into. Then we would have had a different result.
- If we look at the gameplay, I think we played like we were creating sometimes very modes. Since Kings had very good locations when they drove on. We needed a bit more fluency in certain situations because they're so good and then you need this extra distance sometimes in order to win.
Can you describe the interest in Manhattan and around New York when you took all the way to the Stanley Cup final?
- Interest reared for each round and so it has always been in the ten years that I have been there. People are becoming more and more interested and of course during the finals, it was pretty intense.
- While you are so focused on what you do and do not go around town to feel the playoff fever. You are home and resting or doing your stuff to prepare for the next game.
Henrik Lundqvist is pretty hard exposed in New York during a season, and not least, he was there during the finals. It involves incessant interviews and photo shoots. Even so, he sees it as a major problem and nothing to disturb his preparations ahead of the games.
- It's a habit this whole media piece round matches. Then it becomes a whole different level when you get to the finals series. I felt like being on an All-Star weekend. All media that are not usually there in a season is there then. It may answer some other stuff than normally. It's part of the whole thing so I do not see it as a few oddities.
- When it is time to prepare for the match, you know how to think and what is important to focus on.
This is not something you are bothered by in any way?
- No, but when you see that people are more loaded and nervous, do you think that players just because it's fun. It gets to move and you will be charged more for yourself.
- It keeps you pretty controlled media there. Outwardly, for us it's not so much. It's pretty uppstyrt to the locker room after the games with the opportunities for media so you do not need to put so much time into it. There was nothing that I directly thought of during finals or season.
New coach for the Rangers last season, Alain Vigneault, who replaced the fired John Tortorella last summer. Already in the first season at the club he took then the team to the Stanley Cup finals.
- There was a period in the beginning it was very new and we would adapt. We switched defense game while it of course was a new voice and a new way of thinking for us and also a new feeling in the locker room.
- Every time you change the coach, you learn much new since the new coach has a different way of thinking about hockey on. In the beginning it was a challenge to us all to find the right. Once the pieces began to fall into place, I think the entire coaching crew did a very good job.
One of several players to leave Rangers for next season is Anton Strålman. New club address for him becoming Tampa Bay Lightning. Strålman was one of the team's best defenders last season, according to Lundqvist, and he thinks it's a shame that 28-year-old will not be left in the Rangers.
- That's the way it works. I mean that when you get to the contract negotiations - we had several guys and especially a good endgame where Anton was one of them - will you be offered a very good contract somewhere else, it is easy to accept that.
- Rangers wanted to keep him, but now Anton got a very good offer from Tampa. It was hard for him to say no to it. When people have good seasons so-called contract year, even if we wanted to keep him, so things happen that you can not influence as much.
- Anton was very good for us, no doubt about that. He was very stable and I think he was one of our better defenders at the end of the season.