He is one of the NHL's biggest poster's name and one of the best hockey goalkeepers of all time.
Radiosporten met Henrik Lundqvist exclusively for a long interview that spanned over last year's Stanley Cup loss, the great music craze and the daughter's interest in animated films in Russian.
- There were a few Russian words here about a week, almost as if she is trilingual, says Henrik Lundqvist in a frank interview.
"When I met Henke Lundqvist on a New York Rangers training in the same arena as the Stanley Cup final was played in (Staples Center, Los Angeles) so I did not think that they always sit in the same place in the changing rooms.
But after training he sat in the dressing room right where he sat with his head bowed after the last Stanley Cup final match, while the Los Angels Kings celebrated on the ice. And we started talking about 2014, after all, was a good year for "Henke" with both the Olympic finals and Stanley Cup finals. "
- Absolutely, it was a really fun year. Second half of the NHL season went really well for us. OS was fun and playoffs was also really fun. There are many highlights when you look back, or summarizing, 2014.
I actually think you were sitting right where you are sitting now when I last saw you here (at the Staples Center editor's note) and you were very sad ..
- Yes, I thought about it when you came in here. It was actually like a flashback to when I was so saddened six months ago or whatever it was. It is so far the heaviest Time at 2014. To go from the most thrilling and delightful moment to the very hard within seconds when the adventure was over.
Listen to the long, open-hearted story with Henrik Lundqvist in the clip above.
UPDATED with translation, thanks to reader, Oliver W!
Interviewer: We started talking about the year 2014, witch was a great year for Henrik with an Olympic finale and Stanley Cup finale.
Henrik: Yeah, it was a very amusing year. Second half of the NHL season went great for us, Olympics was fun, Stanley cup was very fun too so… yeah it was a lot of highlights when you lock back at the year.
Interviewer: I think you sat just a this spot the last time we spoke after your lost the chance to win the Stanley cup and you were very, very sad.
Henrik: Yeah, I thought about it when I saw you walking in here. It came to me as a flashback when i sat here all disappointed about 5, 6 months ago. It was of course the most heavy moment in 2014, definitely. To go from the most exiting and great moment to the most disappointing and hardest moment in just a few seconds. But it was a great journey and I look back at the Stanley Cup as a great time and we won a lot of hard games so it’s not only the end you see, it’s the fun memories during the Cup.
Interviewer: Was it extra hard with all the games that went to overtime and you know that it’s so little that determines it?
Henrik: Well, you know it when you play, it didn’t feel like a 4-1 series. The puck hit the post every overtime and we were so close to win all three games here in LA, but that moment has passed and you don’t think about it that much now. Of course, you think of it and wonder what would happen if you did anything in a different way, but it’s not like you sit and think about it all the time. You move on. Now I focus on this season and this years challenges and hopefully to play in the Stanley Cup again.
Interviewer: But when you are 95 years old you will think of it and be like ”Damn I should have been doing that instead”
Henrik: (Laughs) Yeah probably,, no, I don’t think it will be removed out of my head. Specially when it was so close with the post hits and everything. It’s extremely hard work to reach that to that point so I don’t think I every will forget it.
Interviewer: It was close then but so good that the Rangers are now at the LA visiting is as good as they’ve ever been. 12 wins on 13 games makes you forget how bad they started the season. Carl Hagelin talks about that they had a Stanley Cup-Hangover and that they found their way back and also about the most competitive man in the team, Henrik Lundqvist.
Carl: Well, I think it’s his way of always wants to win. He cares so much about his own performance and always wants to be 100% and if he’s not he becomes really angry and if the team is not 100% he becomes angry at the team so I think it is his love to compete and that’s why he is where he is.
Interviewer: Is that something you take after him because I think that sounds a bit like you too.
Carl: Yeah, I think that is something I always had and if I didn’t had it I wouldn’t be where I am today but I think it’s some differences because he’s a goalie and they are more exposed and then I think it’s really important to focus on yourself when you stand there in the goal.
Henrik: It feels like everybody in the team is playing in a very high level and that we have a lot of trust on each other and trust our game system and do the details right which helps us in the defense and to create good chances forward and it we become more confident when we win and it becomes more fun to play so, yeah. We’re in a good period right now and just focusing on winning the upcoming games too, because the other teams are winning too and it’s tight at the top.
Interviewer: Your daughter, how many languages does she masters? She is quite old now, 2 and a half.
Henrik: Hahha, it’s a lot of Swedish and English and then she watched some Russian cartoon so it came, to our surprise, out some Russian words out of her mouth. So she almost speaks three languages now haha. It’s fun, you see how she’s develops a lot now at this time.
Interviewer: Does she sees if it’s you or Talbot in the goal?
Henrik: I doubt that, she is really a hockey fanatic and it’s a lot of ”Let’s go Rangers” and ”Let’s go Papa” and that she yells both home but also in the stadium so she thinks it's funny.
Interviewer: It’s not only his daughter who got Henrik as an idol, his jersey is one of the most selling in NHL, he plays guitar and guest the David Letterman’s show and he has absolutely the highest star rating of the Swedish NHL-players and this is what he thinks about that:
Henrik: Of course it’s flattering when people appreciate what you do and that’s how it is. You become happy when you get positive comments and especially on this level when you worked really hard to get up here and if people likes it then it motivates you to work even harder.
Interviewer: Now you have a daughter and a wife, how do they effect you?
Henrik: Well, I think it’s important to have people next to you, like my mom, dad and wife otherwise it becomes difficult to get forward, both when I grew up but also now. There’s a lot of things going on now so having people balancing that up is really important.
Interviewer: Your sister has given out who your guitarheros are.
Henrik: You’ve done your homework hahah. My sister was a big Guns and Roses fan and had a lot of posters in her room and me as little kid thought it was cool and I had just started playing guitar and Guns and Roses is definitely one of them.
Interviewer: Eric Clapton?
Henrik: Well, my mother was a Clapton fan, so yeah, the women kind of controlled and controls my life. Back then it was my mother and sister and now it’s my wife and daughter and an daughter on the way so.
Interviewer: How exiting! How far pregnant is she?
Henrik: In March comes number 2, so it will be great for Charlise to get a sister.
Interviewer: You often see the goalies make themselves at home at their goal and it’s almost like they’re making the goal happy and that the goal will help them save the pucks but when I said that to Henrik he just laughed.
Henrik: Well, you change goal all the time so I don’t get the feeling that this is my goal when I step out in the first period. It’s more about focusing on the puck and make sure it doesn’t pass you not so much about your relation to the goal.
Interviewer: How do you do to reset yourself if you’re playing a game with a bad start?
Henrik: ah,, you’re just trying to focus on the next situation and not think about whats happened before. I think it’s the best to do. That is the most difficult part of being a goalie.. to be in the right way mentally.
This took a little bit longer than I expected so I will just tell you shortly what they said the last two minutes. He tells that the hardest part is to be on top all the time and to find the right way to recharge every game. He doesn’t think it’s so hard to travel so much at this point and the travel back becomes a lot easier if you won the game. He also tells that he enjoys his life very much now and he thinks it’s at least as fun now as it was 10 years ago. If he can play until he turns 40 he will be very happy.
Thank you again, Oliver!