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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Henrik Lundqvist Wants to Disprove his Critics: "When I'm playing best, I'm still one of the very best."


World Champion with Three Crowns this spring and still called King of New York.
But when reputable magazine The Hockey News ranks the league's best goalkeepers, Henrik Lundqvist will be in 14th place.

"I feel better than I showed last year. But I will disprove all those who age. When I'm playing best, I'm still one of the best, says Rangers Swedish superstar to SportExpressen.
Henrik Lundqvist is in New York Rangers dressing room and he is in a good mood.
Despite a tough start for Rangers season and despite being questioned himself.
Not least because of his age.
It has been written "poetically" that the king has had "cracks in his armor", and Henrik's age is pointed out more often in all contexts.
American colleagues still call him King Henrik, but a couple of them I met at the press in conjunction with a match in Madison Square Garden muttered me in what would be sympathetic tense that "Lundqvist approaches the end" ...
The magazine The Hockey News ranked Henke first in 14th place in his goalkeeper rankings for the season, including seven (!) Canadians and two Russians.

14th place? That's how I got annoyed! How did you react?
- Did you become? Haha. Now I do not put so much emphasis on rankings, but last season it did not work as well as it did in previous years. Then the competition is terribly tough. So I can not say so much about that 14th place.

But that's after he responded to what Henke says:
"I feel better than I showed last year. But I will disprove all those who age. When I'm playing best, I'm still one of the very best.
Eleven NHL goalkeepers won more matches than Lundqvist last year and 2,74 in-game goals per match were Lundqvist's worst achievement in his twelve years in the NHL.
That he may still be the best in terms of his career, he showed up last spring, but there were many who missed the NHL because the Stanley Cup play was going on at the same time.

You can still be one of the world's best goalkeepers?
- Yes I think so. It was time last year when I was not good, but then I had tops when I was definitely in the top team and I know I can still play at the highest level.
Like many others, Lundqvist applauds the forever young Jaromir Jagr who never wants to leave, and Henke admits that he is inspired by his old team mate.
"Jagr really shows that age does not matter. And I feel that I can continue to develop my game and work hard for it every day. Watching a lot of video what I can improve.
He repeats how he is motivated by proving that he can still be one of the very best - despite his 35 years.
"The snack about age is nothing that bother me and I love to play a match and to compete as much as I've always done," he says, continuing.
"We have not got the start we wanted in the season, but many teams in the league have become better and it will be rocky throughout the season. We need to get up some levels, that's clear. At the same time, we should not overreact.

Instead of losses, we talk about Lias Andersson, who impressed with Rangers in the pre-season before returning to SHL and Frölunda,
"Lias is smart and strong, to be so young. He goes hard on goals and he really made a good impression. Then there is tough competition and I think he will be ready next season and be very good here. It will be great fun to get him as a teammate. I have played with his father Niklas and met Lias when he was a little kid.

It's awesome with all the young players coming up at all and Connor McDavid shows that hockey is constantly evolving?
- Yes indeed. Today's hockey is based on speed and McDavid is one of the fastest. And as he can accelerate and do things entirely on their own. he is very good. As a goalkeeper, it is always important to be aware of the time when he is on the ice.

After Henrik Lundqvist was interviewed in a podcast by Andreas Johansson and talked about youth sports, he has received some criticism for wanting it to be a result of youth hockey.
He said, among other things, about his own growth:
- You must learn to lose and win to grow both as a person and athlete. If you remove it, the best thing that was like a child, then I do not know what the sport is. Sport is about to compete and to measure with others and even with oneself. If not, it will be a bit like a vacuum.
"As a contestant, there was nothing better than winning, getting a reward for all the time you lay down. And to lose a lot of learning. That made you appreciate the profits so much more.
Critics believe that stupendous parents take away the excitement of winning and losing, and that children feel better not counting results.

To SportExpressen, Lundqvist says:
"What I wanted to say is that I liked to compete when I was a kid and that I, as a child, had fun when I agreed to both win and lose. Then I would really think it was interesting to study with elite riders in various sports with the question: Did you have supportive or pushing parents?
He says he hopes someone will do such a survey.

- I want to know: Did your parents encourage you to have fun or do they demand training and matches? I am absolutely sure that most people will answer that they had supportive parents.
Then Lundqvist says what some parents need to be reminded of:
- Driving power must always come from the children who are engaged in sports, not from their parents. For my own parents, it was always important that I and my siblings had fun, Mom and Dad never made any demands on us. They never said to us, this you have to do now! Parents shall support and encourage and encourage their children.
Then he again points out that it is strange that youth teams in hockey either count results in matches or have tables.
"I think it's weird if children can not learn to win and lose, I do not understand why to remove it. I thought it was fun to win as a child and if we lost, we learned that we have to work harder to win the next match.
"It did not matter that I released 30 goals in my first two hockey matches?

Huh ??? Did you release 30 goals on two matches?
"Yes, I think it was Östersund we met, they were a little bit for us then. I released 18 goals in my first match and twelve goals in my second match. But then we trained more and worked harder and then we started winning matches. And then it was pretty good for me anyway.

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