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Thursday, November 9, 2017

Did Henrik Lundqvist's Leadership Spark the Rangers Win Streak?


Here is his emotional post-game interview on Halloween, the day of the terror attack, in which he mentions his pre-game talk:

Like most teams, the New York Rangers blast music in the dressing room as they prepare for their pre-game warmup. About a minute before they hit the ice last Tuesday at Madison Square Garden, Henrik Lundqvist turned down the music. Three hours earlier, a terrorist attack killed eight people near his residence in Tribeca.

“For me, it was very emotional,” he said Sunday. “On game days, I keep my phone in airplane mode. (When I heard about the attack), I didn’t know where my kids were, if they were safe. All the buildings are in lockdown. It’s frightening.” His children, aged five and two, were safe. (Lundqvist says his eldest’s favourite building is the Freedom Tower.)

A couple other Rangers spoke too, but he did not want to name them. “We turned off the music and we talked. I just felt it was important to express my feelings. It was an important game, more than the two points. Anyone who knows the history of New York understands what happened in the past. I wanted to reinforce to the younger players that we had to come together as a group. We had to show New York that we cared for them and we were going to play for them. I was proud the way we answered that game.”

Trailing 4-2 after two, the Rangers scored four unanswered in the third to win 6-4. It was the first victory of a current four-game win streak. (now five)

What was it like that night to salute the crowd after New York came back to win? “It’s hard to know what to say,” Lundqvist answered. “You want to be respectful but supportive. Give the people some good energy.” He, and his teammates, were successful.


Henrik Lundqvist debuted his new mask with the shiny silver cage on Halloween, what turned out to be a game when the Rangers goalie backstopped his team to a victory over the Golden Knights. It just so happened to also be the first game of a winning streak that extended to five straight games following the 4-2 victory over the Bruins on Wednesday night at the Garden.

When that (non) coincidence was brought up to Lundqvist on Wednesday morning, the franchise netminder just looked up and smiled.

“It was time for a change,” he said.

Lundqvist said he normally goes through about three or four masks a season, this way he can auction them off for charity. His previous mask had a navy blue cage on the outside, but the inside of the pipes were painted white for better vision. This cage is all silver, and Lundqvist had the insides of the pipes sanded down so that there is less glare.

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