Henrik Lundqvist made 24 saves to improve his record to 3-2 in the playoffs. Lundqvist has posted a 1.81 GAA and a .926 SV% in the playoffs, while allowing two goals or fewer in four of the five contests. The Rangers’ all-time wins leader has won 10 of his last 11 regular season and playoff games against the Flyers at MSG, posting a 1.37 GAA, a .949 SV%, and two shutouts in those contests. Lundqvist has appeared in 72 career playoff contests – including 71 in a row – for the Rangers, and is five games shy of passing Mike Richter for first on the Rangers’ all-time playoff appearances list.
Henrik Lundqvist made 23 saves in the contest, and now has a 2-2 record in this year’s playoffs. Lundqvist has also posted a 1.76 GAA and a .927 SV% through the first four games of the series, while allowing two goals or fewer in three of the four contests. The Rangers goaltender started his 70th consecutive playoff game for the Rangers, dating back to Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Apr. 26, 2006 vs. New Jersey. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it is the seventh time in league history that a goaltender has started at least 70 consecutive playoff games for one team (Martin Brodeur – New Jersey, Patrick Roy – Montreal and Colorado, Marc-Andre Fleury – Pittsburgh, Ed Belfour – Dallas, Jacques Plante – Montreal). Lundqvist is six games shy of passing Mike Richter for the franchise record in all-time playoff appearances.
Henrik Lundqvist's jersey was in the top 10 of the National Hockey League’s best seller for the 2013-2014 regular season at the NHL’s online store, according to NHL Public Relations, which released the list on Twitter. The New York Rangers goaltender was the only Ranger to make the top 10, but Rick Nash, right winger, and Brad Richards, center, made the top 25 list. Here’s the top 10: 1. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins 2. Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings 3. Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks 4. Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals 5. Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks 6. Ryan Callahan, Tampa Bay Lightning 7. Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers 8. Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins 9. Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers 10. Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks
Henrik Lundqvist made 31 saves to improve to 2-1 in this year’s playoffs and record his 32nd career postseason win. The Rangers’ all-time wins leader has also posted a 1.68 GAA and a .930 save percentage in the first three playoff contests this year. Lundqvist is 6-1 with a 1.14 GAA, a .963 SV%, and two shutouts in the last seven Game 3s he has played in a playoff series, dating back to Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Apr. 17, 2011 vs. Washington.
ShareThis Martin Brodeur was interviewed on ESPN radio and was asked about Henrik. Here's his response:
His thoughts on Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist needing to win a Stanley Cup: "I'm sure it's his plan. He's had success on the international level, winning a gold medal for his country in 2006. And I think it's a matter of time, I think he's got the skill and the drive to make It happen. A lot of things have to go right, it's not about one individual that wins the Stanley Cup, it's about the whole team. It's always going to be a struggle to try to find some great chemistry. Trust me, I've played on some great teams that never won anything and I've played on teams that weren't so good, but we gelled at the right time."
The celebrations, ceremonies and pomp and circumstance surrounding Henrik Lundqvist this season were driven by numbers, as in the all-time franchise numbers for victories (309) and shutouts (50) he achieved in knocking iconic Blueshirts Mike Richter and Ed Giacomin off their respective top rungs in the record book. But there are other numbers for Lundqvist that come into play at this time of year, and they do not elicit images of marching bands, floats and parades. For as the King prepares for his eighth playoffs in his ninth NHL season, his tournament record is 30-37. There has been one trip to a conference final. Let’s just say that does not represent a crowning achievement. We can stipulate this. Even at sub-.500, Lundqvist has almost always been the Rangers’ best postseason performer. There were the back-to-back shutouts in Games 6 and 7 in the first round last year against the Caps; excellence in Rounds 1 and 2 against Ottawa and Washington in 2012; outstanding work early in 2007, 2008 and 2009. We can stipulate this as well. The Rangers’ largest perceived edge entering this opening-round series against the Flyers that will begin on Thursday at the Garden is at the top of the defense depth chart and in goal. It is kind of a given, isn’t it, that Lundqvist will outplay Steve Mason and/or Ray Emery? Isn’t it? But then Richter was supposed to have a huge edge over Ron Hextall in 1997 and that didn’t work out quite so well. Lundqvist is aware of his record, but he essentially dismissed it in an extended conversation with The Post on Saturday in Montreal. “I don’t feel I have to prove I can play in the playoffs, absolutely not,” the King declared. “My last seven years in Sweden, I won four championships, two professional, two in junior. Then the  Olympics. “I think I’ve played well in the playoffs. To win in the playoffs, it’s about getting the group to be at its best at the right time. This is not tennis or golf. It is a team sport where together we have to push ourselves. “Of course I need to play well, and I think I have done that in the playoffs. Yeah, I’ll leave it at that.” If the Vezina was a half-season award for only 2014, Lundqvist would win it. That’s how superior he was over the final three months of the season in leading the Blueshirts to the NHL’s fourth-best record following Christmas. Lundqvist was so good, in fact, it is hard to believe he is the same person who struggled through the first three months of the year, a period in which he was benched a couple of times as he sought to deal with myriad issues, including stalled contract talks that went into December. “So much of my game is based on mental preparation and technical preparation, and it’s very difficult when there are distractions,” Lundqvist said. “At this level, every little thing matters. One mistake can mean a goal that loses the game. “Early in the season there were a couple of distractions. I’m not going to lie — the contract played a part,” said Lundqvist, who signed a seven-year, $59.5 million extension on Dec. 4 after also dealing with an early-season injury that remains unidentified. “When you add everything together, it was not perfect. It was the most challenging part of my entire career.” Lundqvist steadied himself over the Christmas break, getting eight days between starts. He worked and talked it through regularly with goaltending coach Benoit Allaire. He consulted “a mental coach,” Dr. Fred Neff, with whom he has worked for the last three years. Neff lists himself as the Rangers’ official sports psychologist on his website. “The break gave me time for a deep breath, where I could collect my thoughts,” Lundqvist said. “Technically, I was being too aggressive. I need to be patient. When I am, I make better decisions. That makes for better games. “I was so disappointed with the way the season started, it took time for me to realize that I wasn’t going to be able to correct everything 1, 2, 3. I realized it was a process.” The process earned Lundqvist and the Rangers first-round home ice. If the goaltender has nothing to prove, he and the Rangers now have everything to gain. “I am very happy and proud of the way we overcame the start as a group and also for me personally,” he said. “We finished really strong, and as a team I think we have the right mix and the right mindset for the playoffs. I like the way we are playing.” “Of course, individuals have to perform.” Of course, some more than others.
Henrik Lundqvist is the most recognizable face on the Rangers, and one of the more recognizable faces on the New York sports scene, which isn't an easy feat for a guy who wears a mask to work. He has two Olympic medals, more wins than any Rangers goaltender ever and a team-record 50 shutouts. He signed a seven-year contract extension earlier this season that likely will mean he will end his career in New York, with his jersey hanging in the Madison Square Garden rafters soon after. Yet, as the Rangers prepare to open the playoffs in the coming days, Lundqvist has been doing some thinking about the one thing he doesn't have. "I just think, for me personally, the biggest goal I have left with my hockey is to win the Stanley Cup," he said. "For me, it's exciting to think about it. It's a challenge for me and for all of us here. It's why we play." At 32, Lundqvist is playing for his legacy. In December, he signed on to be the face of the franchise for the rest of the decade, which makes each of his playoffs increasingly important. Will Lundqvist finish his career in New York as the Patrick Ewing of the Rangers, a great player who may never be truly recognized for his greatness because he never won it all? Or will he join the beloved ranks of current New York champions like Eli Manning and Derek Jeter? The concept that a championship, or lack there of, can define a player's legacy is one with which Lundqvist sometimes struggles. "Sometimes it surprises me a little bit when people look at championships," he said. "We're not playing tennis, we're not playing golf. It's a team sport. You need to be good but you also need to be a part of a great team. You need to have timing as well when you play a team sport. You get on a team that's on a roll, obviously goalies play a big part, but again it's not tennis or golf. It's not just you. It's about getting everything to work together at the right time and just go from there." Still, those who know Lundqvist well say he is very conscious that if he wants to ever pull ahead of former Rangers goaltender Mike Richter, he needs to win the Stanley Cup like Richter did with the 1994 team. "No one really remembers who the finalists were, they remember who won the cup and who their goaltender was," said Martin Biron, a former Rangers backup goalie who now works as a MSG analyst. "In this market especially, there are a lot of very successful people who support this team. They value winning the championship way on top of anything else. That's just the reality of it, and Henrik understands that and wants to win as badly as anyone else . . . I'd say it's at the top of his bucket list." Could he have a chance this season? With the way the Rangers are rolling into the playoffs, some have labeled them a dark horse contender in Eastern Conference, one of the handful of teams that could challenge the Boston Bruins. It seems to be coming together at the right time for the Lundqvist and the Rangers, after surviving a difficult start to the season. Forty games in, the Rangers were 19-19-2 and Lundqvist had a 2.77 goals-against average. Heading into Saturday night's game, the Rangers are 26-12-3 and Lundqvist's goals-against average has fallen to 2.36 for the season. Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said he cannot overstate the impact Lundqvist's second half of the season has had on the team. "When you get the goaltending, it rubs off on the rest of your game, whether it's your defensive play, your penalty killing of five-on-five play," Vigneault said. "If you know that if you make a mistake, your goaltender is going to bail you out, it's easier to play. Ever since Hank found his game, we've been a better team. In the second half, we've been one of the better teams in the NHL." Yet, it wasn't easy getting to that point. Lundqvist had flourished under former Rangers coach John Tortorella and his defensive-oriented system, winning seven straight team MVP awards. This season, there was an adjustment period when Tortorella was fired and replaced by the more offensive-minded Vigneault. His unsure contract status may also have weighed on his mind. "It's been an interesting year, a year where you learn a lot about the team and yourself," Lundqvist said. "A lot of ups and downs. Every year is different. This year we had a new coach and a different system. It had a different feel." Lundqvist's teammates could sense his frustration at the beginning of the season. "He's one of the best goalies in the world, if not the best," said Rangers backup goaltender Cam Talbot. "It was really tough when Hank wasn't playing up to his own standards he still was paying well, but maybe not where he wanted to be." Biron recently re-watched every Rangers game from the beginning of the year through January for a project he was working on. He said that when he came to mid-December, he noticed a marked change in Lundqvist. "I watched the way he was reacting, making saves and his body language," Biron said. "Hank started the season very frustrated but then there was this big change in the middle of December. I know he changed his pads, but that could be just coincidental. I think it was a number of things but you started to see a brighter, happier Lundqvist going into the end of December." Lundqvist said the changes were not so much physical or technical as they were mental. He credits his sports psychologist, whom he did not want to name, for helping him work through some challenges at the beginning of the season. "The turning point was mid-December. I sat down and talked to someone and things started into place," he said. "He just asked the right questions. It was a lot about mentally how you approach things. Sometimes, you need to remind yourself what you need to do." Lundqvist needs no reminding what he needs to do at this time of year. Over the years he has compiled 30 playoff victories, but has never won his last game of the season. Who's to say that it couldn't happen this year, one which has been like no other for Lundqvist. "It was definitely a challenging start, but to overcome that and learn from it and get to the level I think I should be at has been good for my confidence," Lundqvist said. "In the end it's about getting in. And I'm proud and excited about our chances."
Henrik Lundqvist made 23 saves to improve to 33-24-5 on the season, including a 16-14-4 mark at home. The Rangers goaltender is 8-2-1 with a 1.89 GAA, a .935 SV%, and one shutout in his last 11 games, and has posted an 11-4-1 record with a 1.81 GAA, a .939 SV%, and two shutouts in his last 16 games. The Rangers’ all-time wins leader posted a 3-0-0 record, along with a 0.67 GAA, and a .975 SV% in three contests against the Sabres this season.
Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves to improve to 32-24-5 on the season, including a 15-14-4 mark at home. The Rangers goaltender is 7-2-1 with a 1.98 GAA, a .933 SV%, and one shutout in his last 10 games, and has posted a 10-4-1 record with a 1.86 GAA, a .938 SV%, and two shutouts in his last 15 games. In his last 11 contests against Carolina, the Rangers’ all-time wins leader is 9-2-0 with a 1.87 GAA and a .941 SV%.
Henrik Lundqvist made 31 saves in the contest. The Rangers goaltender is now 31-24-5 this season, including a 14-14-3 record at home. Lundqvist made at least 30 saves for the 19th time this season, including the third consecutive game, and is 13-4-2 with a 2.14 GAA, a .940 Sv%, and 2 SO when making at least 30 saves in a game this season.
Henrik Lundqvist made 35 saves in regulation and overtime, including 15 in the third period, in the shootout loss (2-3 in the shootout). Lundqvist is 6-1-1 with a 1.98 GAA, a .933 Sv% and 1 SO in his last eight games, and is 9-3-1 with a 1.84 GAA, a .938 Sv%, and 2 SO in his last 13 games. The Rangers goaltender made 30 or more saves for the 18th time this season, and the second consecutive game. Lundqvist is 13-3-2 with a 2.10 GAA, a .942 Sv%, and 2 SO when making at least 30 saves in a game this season.
By Dmitry Chesnokov Henrik Lundqvist already has a silver medal to his credit this year. Could he add more championship hardware with the New York Rangers this postseason? I recently caught up with the goalie to discuss the Rangers’ Stanley Cup chances, comparing his current and former coaches, the Sochi Games and how he relaxes in his down time. Enjoy … Q. You broke quite a few records for the New York Rangers recently, and the ceremony the team held for you was appreciated by every hockey fan. LUNDQVIST: “It was definitely a special moment in my career. Skating over there, I saw my mom standing there crying. It was hard not to get all emotional. It was just very special for me, to have my family on the ice to share that moment with me was so great on so many levels.” Would you say this team is the deepest Rangers team in your tenure? “It’s so hard to compare year to year, I think. Different years you have different strengths. But I have to agree that we have a lot of talent on this team, especially lately we have been able to win games in different ways. That is a huge thing, because that’s what it is going to come down to – you are not going to play great every night, but you need players to find different ways to win games. Right now all of our focus is, obviously, to get into the playoffs. But once you’re in, it’s all open. I think there are so many teams this year that can go all the way. That, I think, is exciting to know and to feel that it’s up for grabs for sure. Right now it is exciting to be a part of. There are a lot of teams fighting for the last two spots, and we have to do whatever we can do get in and go for it.” The Rangers have been getting into the playoffs for a few years now. For a team like yours, when is simply getting in is not going to be good enough? “Well, every year you go into the season your goal is to go for it, it is to win the Cup. We made it to the Conference Finals a couple of years ago, and I thought it was, obviously, a great experience; we took a couple of steps in the right direction. If you look over the last two years at teams who have been playing the most playoff games the Rangers will be right up there. We played a lot of playoff hockey, and that shows some consistency. But then you say ‘When is the time to win?’ Right now we are challenging ourselves to get in, and then really go for it. And I think we have the team for that. No question. We just need for everything to go our way at the right time, have everybody play at their absolute best.” This team is different indeed, but there is also a new coach this year. For you personally, what has been the main difference between John Tortorella’s New York Rangers and Alain Vigneault’s? “We play a different system now where we play differently in our own end. I think it gives us the ability to have more speed coming out of the zone. I think this year we create more chances and score more goals, which is huge. As to what is the main change, the main factor for us? We’ll see. So far this year, especially the second half, the fact that we have been able to win in different ways shows that a lot of good. We have also shown a lot of character coming back in a number of games when we were behind a couple of goals and win those games. I like the character. I like the attitude in the room. A lot of guys want to be better and to win. That’s what it comes down to.” You’re 32. You signed a new long term contract recently. Do you ever feel the time is running out a little bit to win the Cup? “Hmm… I definitely feel like the time is flying. But I don’t feel like it’s running out. I think I am right in the middle of it, and I am enjoying the ride. It’s a lot of fun. And it is a great challenge how we work every day. You’re in New York, there are a lot of expectations, and there is a lot of pressure. But it’s fun too! As long as you look at it the right way. It is a fun challenge. It is fun to be a part of it. You just try to focus on what’s going on this year. I try not to think about how many years I have left, or how many years I have already been here. “But of course recently with the ceremony and the fact that I broke a couple of records I have been thinking about the past, about how I got here. The nine years I have been with the Rangers have been awesome so far. But I still hope that the best is ahead of me.” You recently became a face of Advil, and I saw this commercial with a huge rhino breaking up into hundreds of pucks when it hits you. And you face almost 1700 shots on goal per season on average. We all heard about Chara’s or Weber’s shot power. But who, apart from those two, has the hardest shot in the League that we may not even think of? “Good question! Chara and Weber definitely have the hardest shots. You definitely have some bruises after those! But there are a few guys who have a bomb of a shot. Actually Kevin Klein on our team has a big bomb. I knew he was a great player when he came to us, but I was surprised as I didn’t know he could shoot the puck so hard. But a lot of times it’s not about how hard you can shoot it, but rather if you can put it in the right place all the time. Playing with Erik Karlsson at the Olympics I was so impressed with how he was shooting the puck. I knew he had a great shot. He shoots it hard, but also he puts it exactly where he wants it. That’s impressive.” About the Olympics, what was your reaction when Nicklas Backstrom was pulled from the locker room right before the Final due to doping allegations? “It was shocking to lose one of your best players just like that. We already had Sedin and Zetterberg out. We were missing the top three center forwards. It was just all too tough for us playing the Canadian team that was so strong and playing really well. It was a tough challenge for us. But overall it was a great tournament. But it always hurts when you are that close.” How did your previous Olympic experience help you manage your fitness level this season factoring in the tournament into the NHL schedule? “I felt pretty good going into the Olympic tournament – I had five or six straight wins. For me the turning point this season was in mid-December. I feel I was more consistent in my preparation and the way I was playing. The key for me is always preparation, the way I think. Sometimes it’s hard to control your mind though, focus on the right things. You work as hard as you can at practice, but in the end it comes down to how you approach things mentally. You learn a lot when you go through stretches when things are not going well. You learn about yourself. You learn about how people react around you. As long as you think about this the right way, you can come back even stronger. You just have to think that this is a brief thing that’s only going to help you going forward.” What do you do then to take your mind off of things? Do you still jam the guitar? “This year I haven’t played that much, actually. I wish I could play more. It’s one of the things I definitely really enjoy, and it helps me relax and get away from the game. But I have a family now. I am taking care of my girl Charlise. Now when I get home there’s no time to think about hockey, and it’s kind of nice. When I am at the rink I am super focused, I am in the game, I am trying to get better. But when I get home I am doing something else. I am saving energy, recharging. It’s always about finding the right balance.” The way a lot of fans view the Rangers is that you are the key to the team’s success. What does the team need to make sure you’re not the only major key to winning the Cup? “The key for us has been that all four lines have been going really well. We need to continue that. We need everybody to do their part to make this team better. It’s not going to be about one guy, or the goalie. We need everybody to pull together. That’s what we have been doing, and that’s why we have been having success over the last few months. Starting probably in January we felt like we were all on the same page all the time. As long as we keep that, we can do something good.”