Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: henrik lundqvist
"In the 2nd pd, it was a feeling of embarrassment to give up that many goals. But also a sense of hopelessness..."
"...I think we played a team that was smarter, better, and better goaltending."
Lundqvist gave up four goals on 12 shots in the 2nd period.
via Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post,
The call came with 4:10 remaining in the third period as the Rangers (40-23-8) were holding onto a 3-2 lead and looking to back up their encouraging 2-1 win in Anaheim on Wednesday, which kicked off this three-game California swing. But the Kings (43-22-5) sent Anze Kopitar to the front of the net as they did so many times two summers ago, and that’s when Kopitar made a masterful deflection of a Milan Lucic shot, beating Lundqvist above his left shoulder to tie it 3-3.
Right there in Lundqvist’s crease was Tyler Toffoli, who didn’t exactly make an effort to move, prompting coach Alain Vigneault to use his challenge. After review, the goal was upheld, and Lundqvist still was steaming about it after another artful tip from Kopitar in front beat him 1:34 into the 3-on-3 extra frame for the win.
“I’m so frustrated right now I don’t know where to begin,” Lundqvist said. “The way we battled all game, and I think you just have to play by the rules. The rule is you can’t have a guy in the crease. I can’t come out to play the shot, and as a goalie, when you try to make a save, you have a forward motion. And he doesn’t make any effort to get out.
“And I can’t believe the ref, after watching it, not getting it right,” the King continued. “That means that you can pretty much put a guy in the crease, and as long as the goalie doesn’t get run over, it’s a good goal. That’s the way I look at this call.”
Watch the goal below...
from Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post,
Mix anger and injury, and you get an explosion.
The blast zone left Henrik Lundqvist nowhere to be seen after his team lost 4-1 to the Penguins on Thursday night at CONSOL Energy Center. Lundqvist himself was ground zero, as the Rangers’ goalie had blown up after he was railroaded by his own defenseman, Ryan McDonagh, early in the second period, tossing his own net off the moorings soon thereafter when the officials wouldn’t give him a stoppage of play.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen him that mad,” alternate captain Derek Stepan said.
As for how the Penguins felt, Lundqvist’s counterpart, Marc-Andre Fleury, told Pittsburgh reporters it was “baby stuff.”
So after the Penguins scored three goals in 99 seconds in the final three minutes of the second, Lundqvist didn’t even come out to the bench to watch the third.
Watch an upset Lundqvist below...
The New York Post's Larry Brooks believes that those opposed to Patrick Kane's candidacy for the Hart Trophy based upon last summer's events should pipe down:
I have no idea whether or not I would want Patrick Kane to date my sister. I don’t know him except from afar and through a locker-room interview scrum or two. But that hypothetical would not inform my choice for the Hart Trophy if I were to have a ballot, nor should it become an issue when votes are cast immediately after the regular season.
There is no morals clause attached to the Hart, which goes to, “The player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team.”
At this point, with Kane on a franchise-record tying 21-game point streak he aims to break Sunday night, the Blackhawks’ winger is the MVP frontrunner, with Dallas’ James Neal and Tyler Seguin and the Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist, the Islanders’ John Tavares and Washington’s Alex Ovechkin also in the conversation.
This is a case about hockey. There is nothing more to see here beyond Kane’s brilliance on the ice, just as the Erie County’s DA office decided there was nothing more to see in the “so-called ‘case’ ” there, either.
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Tags: alex+ovechkin, chicago+blackhawks, dallas+stars, henrik+lundqvist, james+neal, john+tavares, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, patrick+kane, tyler+seguin, washington+capitals
from Kristina Rutherford of Sportsnet,
What would it mean to win the Stanley Cup in New York?
You dream about it, you picture it happening. That’s definitely the biggest goal and dream I have right now. It’s my biggest motivation to try to get better and try to help the team win. I’ve been there for 10 years, and we’ve been close the past few years. I really hope we can take that final step now. It’s time.
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
The Rangers have been so close, going to the Stanley Cup Final in 2014 and Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final last season. Do you go into this season now, at 33 years old, worrying that your window is closing despite being so close, and do you feel the pressure going up because of that?
"No. I'm just excited that we have a team that's up there fighting for it. For a few years it was definitely a goal, but it was a long stretch for us to really reach to that level. Now I feel we have the group to fight for it and to be there. If we play a certain way, play on top of our ability, we have a chance to win a lot of games. That's exciting. I try to see it that way instead of a closing window, because who knows how long we can keep this stretch going, how long we can keep the group together? There is no point in going there. Right now it's this year. The core is still here."
What perspective did you gain from having to sit out with your neck injury last season considering how scary the diagnosis was for you and what could have been, such as the potential for a stroke if you kept playing?
from Joe McDonald of ESPN,
"It’s a roller coaster of emotions. It goes up and down," Lundqvist said. "You just have to deal with it the best you can, deal with the pressure you put on yourself, expectations you have on you. It just comes down to keeping your focus on what you need to do -- that’s it. Don’t focus on too many other things, especially things you can’t control."
Bishop’s calmness should be bottled and sold over the counter as a sleeping drug.
"You’ve got to treat it like the regular season," he said. "When you play 60-whatever games, you’re going to have some good ones, you’re going to have some bad ones. You’re going to have some unlucky ones, you’re going to have some lucky ones. It’s kind of the same in the playoffs. You can’t put too much emphasis on one game. ... You just can’t look at it in a real short window. You’ve got to look at it big picture, and that’s a big thing. If you treat it like the regular season, where there’s going to be good games and bad games, it’s easier to move on."
What allows two quality goaltenders to remain so calm in a situation such as this?
"It doesn’t get any easier," one NHL goalie coach said. "Certainly, the pressure surrounding the games ramps up as you go through the rounds. In a lot of ways, the game’s almost a little bit easier because everybody is so attentive to blocking shots, picking up your checks, making good, hard plays."
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
So there sat Lundqvist, a King with a crown tarnished by an ultra-talented group that seems to have his number … or numbers, as in a 4.75 GAA and .840 save pct. in six meetings this season covering the regular season and this round.
There he sat alone until general manager Glen Sather entered the room, walked to his franchise player’s stall, and offered quiet, private words of love and encouragement.
Lundqvist will need much more than those words as he seeks to find answers between now and Friday’s Game 4, for when he met the press a few minutes after Sather had left the room, it was clear that the goaltender had been shaken out of the Conn Smythe-worthy comfort zone in which he had been living until the Lightning became his — and his team’s — worst nightmare.
“For some reason I didn’t really pick it up,” the beleaguered goaltender said of the winner on which Palat cut across the zone from the right before unleashing the drive that beat him to the far, stick side. “I’m going to have to look at the video to see why.
“It’s really challenging for me, the way they move the puck and find open ice for the shot, the way they get scoring chances from right in front,” said Lundqvist, who had blundered by directing a soft initial shot onto Steven Stamkos’ stick for the Lightning’s first goal. “They’re good, but I need to be more consistent with my game plan.”
Watch the game highlights below....
From NHL.com's Katie Brown:
Washington Capitals forward Andre Burakovsky spent a large portion of his childhood idolizing New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.
On Wednesday, Burakovsky scored his first two Stanley Cup Playoff goals -- against Lundqvist -- to help the Capitals to a 2-1 win in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Second Round at Verizon Center.
"Obviously he's been my favorite goalie since I grew up," Burakovsky said. "He's kind of close to my hometown so I've been watching him my whole life. It's a pretty special moment for me to score two goals on Lundqvist in such an important game as this."
Burakovsky's first goal tied the game at 16:29 of the second period. After intercepting a pass from Rangers forward Chris Kreider, he held the puck and skated through the slot toward the right wall, exhibiting admirable patience in outlasting Lundqvist to make it 1-1.
"I wasn't really planning it, it just happened," Burakovsky said. "I don't know how to describe it. It's just in my head, guiding me sort of. I'm just trying to take the puck to the net."
Continued, and here's the second of Burakowsky's two goals:
from Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post,
After all this, Henrik Lundqvist isn’t about to rush.
The Rangers franchise netminder said on Wednesday night “it’s been a long six weeks,” and it sure has been since he first suffered a blood vessel injury in the back of his neck on Jan. 31. Yet he was cleared Tuesday to practice, and he was cleared to speak to the media before the Rangers’ 1-0 loss to the Blackhawks, when he said he will rejoin the lineup only when he’s good and ready.
“I’m not going to force it,” Lundqvist said. “It’s not about me, it’s about what’s best for the team, too. I’m not going to just jump out there because I want to play. I want to make sure when I go out there, I feel ready and I can make a difference and help the team. Before that, it’s better for everyone if I just stay in practice and work on my game.”
The plan is for the 31-year-old Lundqvist to practice as much as possible — which, with the Rangers’ upcoming schedule, isn’t very much. They have just two full-team practices over the next week, Friday and next Wednesday before they leave for Ottawa for the beginning of a two-game, four-day trip, which Lundqvist plans to be on.
NEW YORK, March 17, 2015 – Following an exam and consultation with specialists, Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist has been cleared to return to practice with the team.
Lundqvist was injured on Jan. 31. The Rangers all-time wins and shutouts leader posted a 16-4-0 record, along with a 1.82 goals against average, a .938 save percentage, and one shutout in his last 20 appearances prior to suffering the injury. For the season, Lundqvist has a record of 25-11-3, along with a 2.25 goals against average, a .922 save percentage, and five shutouts.
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist would have been at risk for a life-threatening injury if he kept playing with what he called a sprained blood vessel in his throat that was detected Tuesday.
Lundqvist said Sunday he won't be re-evaluated by the doctors for at least 2-3 weeks to see how it's healing, and he can do only light cardio between now and then. He even once referenced a timetable of potentially 3-4 weeks before he is re-evaluated.
"If I would keep playing I'd run a big risk of having a stroke, and that's why you have to make sure you play this one safe because it's not a sore shoulder or elbow or something like that," Lundqvist said prior to the Rangers' game against the Dallas Stars at Madison Square Garden.
NEW YORK, February 6, 2015 – Henrik Lundqvist suffered a vascular injury on Saturday. We have been conferring with leading medical experts to ensure the best possible care. Henrik will remain sidelined at least three weeks, until he is revaluated and we have completed the process of conferring with the medical experts.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
For this was the night Henrik Lundqvist was able to survive taking a puck in the throat at 3:02 of the second period when Ryan McDonagh’s stick inadvertently lifted his goaltender’s mask just as Brad Malone had uncorked a rising drive from the right circle.
“I could feel the stick hit my chin and pull up my helmet so I lost my vision of the puck,” Lundqvist said. “I had a bad feeling because I could kind of see the puck coming and then I lost track of it.
“When I got hit, it’s obviously extremely painful and hard to breathe for a couple of minutes,” said The King, who fell prone on the ice immediately, kicking his legs, writhing in pain as trainer Jim Ramsay and a club physician attended to him. “I got very light-headed and a little worried the first couple of minutes, but they told me just to breathe and slowly I started to feel better.”...
“It wasn’t a concussion, so I didn’t need tests,” Lundqvist said. “I had the headaches because I didn’t get air for that time.”
Behind the Rangers’ bench, coach Alain Vigneault later would admit to having flashbacks of a previous incident while coaching the Canadiens 15 years ago when winger Trent McCleary suffered a fractured larynx and collapsed right lung when struck flush on the throat at point blank range while trying to block a slap shot from Philadelphia defenseman Chris Therien.
Watch the incident below...
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
This isn’t last year, when Henrik Lundqvist’s game bottomed out for a variety of reasons over the first three months of 2013-14. This hasn’t been close to that bad.
But the first two months of 2014-15 haven’t been close to good enough from Lundqvist, who has surrendered too many unsightly goals and has had way too many borderline nights for a team that isn’t good enough to overcome mediocrity in nets.
Lundqvist’s save percentage dropped to .905, 31st in the 30-team league among goaltenders with 10 or more starts after Monday’s misadventure in which he surrendered five goals on 20 shots — including a back-breaking softie for the winner — in the Blueshirts’ 6-3 empty-net-abetted defeat to the Lightning at the Garden that marked the team’s third loss in three games within 15 days to conference-leading Tampa Bay.
Via SI's Michael Blinn, New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist took a break from the NHL and NHLPA's "Player Media Tour" to appear on The Late Show With David Letterman on Monday night. The Late Show's YouTube channel posted a 2-minute clip of the impeccably-dressed Lundqvist discussing playing goal in the playoffs and the "goony" Los Angeles Kings:
The Late Show's website posts entire episodes on a slightly delayed basis, so Lundqvist's full appearance should be up in a day or two...
And here's what the NHL and NHLPA are doing later this morning:
from Risto Pakarinen at ESPN,
You will hear New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist before you see him.
Or, rather, you will hear the roar of his black Maserati as it winds through the streets of this west coast city.
As a father of a 2-year-old daughter, he also has other cars, but there are no baby seats in the Maserati, so when he's driving solo, it's the Maserati with the matte finish that rolls out of the garage.
After the longest season in his career, Lundqvist took time off to recharge his batteries, but in the first week of August he was back on the ice, skating with local players in the Frolunda Indians practice facility, Frolundaborg, on the south side of town.
He arrives in the Maserati, stops at the parking lot meter, feeds it with a few kronor, grabs his ticket and parks his car around the corner, closer to the entrance. His famous hair is tucked under a baseball cap adorned with his own logo that combines his No. 30 with a crown.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
The Cup was on the ice, and the Kings were celebrating. It was 40 minutes after the dagger had been plunged into Lundqvist’s heart, and the franchise goaltender was still wearing his hockey pants, pads and skates. He sat in his stall in the locker room, his hands — left hand still taped — first clasped over his head, then covering his eyes and what had been a vacant stare, the King intermittently shaking his head, perhaps imagining what might have been.
In defeat, this was Lundqvist’s grandest hour, nearly an hour of hockey in which he had made 48 saves and had been a pillar of strength in repelling wave after wave of Kings attacks. But that does not change the outcome. That does not change the fact Lundqvist will go into his 10th NHL season searching for his first Stanley Cup, and the Rangers will start next season 21 years removed from their last title.
Nothing changes that reality for King Henrik.
“I knew going into this series that it would end in tears,” Lundqvist finally said after pausing to collect his thoughts when asked to articulate his emotions. “Tears of joy or tears of heartbreak.
“Right now it’s extremely tough.”
Below, Darryl Sutter and Henrik Lundqvist in the handshake line...
Some had to wonder if the Broadway Hat would be awarded again this season.
This time, the Los Angeles Kings couldn't rally from a 2-0 deficit, and it was due to some absolutely fantabulous goaltending--and a wee bit of luck--by Henrik Lundqvist, whose 40-save performance (including 15 saves in the 3rd period, a period in which the Rangers had 1 shot on Jonathan Quick) powered the Rangers to a 2-1 win and a Game 5 in Los Angeles this Friday.
Benoit Pouliot's first-period tip and Martin St. Louis' second-period drive to the net were answered by a Dustin Brown breakaway 8:46 into the 2nd, but after that, Lundqvist shut the door.
This little assist by Anton Stralman in the first period helped...
As did some slushy ice and another hand from Derek Stepan in the 3rd (via CJ Folger on Twitter):
And now the Rangers have some life, though the way the Kings dominated play doesn't bode well for a rally from a 3-0 deficit (though I will readily admit that BOTH teams look exhausted at this point).
I've seen better goaltending performances, but this one is in my top 5, and I've been watching hockey for 23 years now. Jonathan "The Scorpion King" Quick got bested by King Henrik, and that was...phenomenal stuff.
Please note: SB Nation's Steve Lepore and Grantland's Katie Baker pointed out that there is no hockey this weekend due to the World Cup of soccer taking place in Brazil, not due to some slight against the wonder that is our game.
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
You almost have to feel bad for Henrik Lundqvist, don’t you? The Man Who Has Everything has nothing to show through the first three games of this Stanley Cup Final series.
No luck. No help. No wins.
Well, nothing is not entirely accurate, of course. The embattled Rangers ‘keeper does have one thing:
Lundqvist was on the hook for three goals on just 15 shots in New York’s 3-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night. But who could blame him, right? The first might have deflected off the skate of defenseman Dan Girardi about 20 feet out and changed direction slightly. The second was redirected by another well-meaning block attempt by Martin St. Louis. The third was created when the puck bounced off the skate of Ryan McDonagh directly onto the tape of L.A.’s Mike Richards.
In fact, that’s pretty much been the story of the series for Lundqvist.
That was most certainly intriguing. For the second consecutive game, the Los Angeles Kings surrendered a 2-0 lead; for the second consecutive game, the Kings forced overtime, overcoming both the Rangers' relentless attack and their own defensive mistakes (Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene did not have the best nights in their own end); and for the second consecutive game, the Los Angeles Kings persevered and prevailed, with Dustin Brown tipping Willie Mitchell's shot past Henrik Lundqvist 10:26 into the second OT period.
Los Angeles prevails 5-4, and now the series gets interesting: both teams will have to try to get their players to bed sooner than later as 9 AM Pacific Daylight Time flights are on the Sunday docket, and the teams will play three games in five nights, so we may see the kind of mental fatigue that played into tonight's score leak its way into regulation time action.
Justin Williams had 3 assists, Willie Mitchell had a goal and an assist, and Jonathan Quick stopped 34 shots for LA; Derik Brassard, Mats Zuccarello and Ryan McDonagh had 1-goal-and-1-assist games for the Rangers, Rick Nash had 8 shots, and Henrik Lundqvist (who may or may not have issued a Dustin Brown-style dive at one point--quite a bit of diving in this series!) stopped 39 for New York.
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Tags: derick+brassard, dustin+brown, henrik+lundqvist, jonathan+quick, justin+williams, los+angeles+kings, mats+zuccarello, matt+greene, new+york+rangers, rick+nash, ryan+mcdonagh, willie+mitchell
Elliotte Friedman of HNIC with the interview...
The curse of the two-goal lead and/or perhaps some delayed jet-lag setting in? The Los Angeles Kings fell behind 2-0 against the New York Rangers, who had rest on their side coming into Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, but after the Kings rallied to tie the game 2-2, the Kings came out with legs full of lead in the 3rd period, getting out-shot 20-3, and while Henrik Lundqvist stopped almost everything he saw, he wasn't able to steal this snipe shot by Justin Williams 4:36 into OT (Dan Girardi had a terrible giveaway, and his teammates all "flew by" and skated the other way, yielding a mini one-on-none):
The Kings prevailed 3-2 despite Lundqvist's 40-save performance, and now things get interesting: the Kings won the first game, which supposedly garners you a 77% chance of winning the Stanley Cup, but both Los Angeles, which had two days to turn around after beating the Hawks, and the Rangers, who had nearly a week off before taking their cross-continental flight on Monday, will BOTH be able to re-set and refocus in a big way as Game 2 doesn't take place until Saturday (7 PM EDT start).
Does momentum transfer from game to game, or will the series essentially re-set after two days of rest and recuperation for both clearly mentally and physically exhausted teams, at least given their play over the first 40 or so minutes?
We'll find out on Saturday night.
from Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star,
Start with his hair. Look at it. It’s not a hairstyle; it’s a goddamn symphony, every strand in concert with the others, rising and falling. Henrik Lundqvist doesn’t have to do that with his hair, right? There’s got to be an easier way, a less perfect way, but he refuses to take it.
As the 2014 Stanley Cup final opens, Lundqvist is trying to crack the last hard task. His New York Rangers are decided underdogs to the Los Angeles Kings, who have superior forwards, a superior defensive corps, a team that applies pressure until you crack, and Stanley Cup rings. The biggest reason to believe in the Rangers is Henrik Lundqvist is in goal. He will have to be great, but that’s always been what he’s aiming for, anyway.
“There’s a reason why he’s the king,” says Martin Biron, now with TSN and the NHL Network, who backed up Lundqvist for parts of four seasons in New York. “He’s good-looking, he’s got it all, he’s the best goalie, he plays the guitar, gets on Jimmy Fallon show, all that, and there’s a reason: Because he prepares and works so hard for it. If he didn’t put all the time and effort into being his absolute best at every moment, he would just be very good. He wouldn’t be great.”
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
When Henrik Lundqvist signed his seven-year, $59.5 million contract extension in early December, it wasn’t just the Rangers committing their future to the franchise goaltender, it was the franchise goaltender committing his destiny to the Rangers’ organization, as well.
No goalie in NHL history had ever won his first Stanley Cup with his original team as late into his career as Lundqvist. But now, nine years a Ranger, The King will get his chance at making history. He has earned it.
He has earned it with a 1-0 shutout victory over the Canadiens at the Garden on Thursday to clinch the Eastern Conference final in a game Lundqvist said, “I don’t think I’ve ever been more determined to win.”
Nine years after Lundqvist arrived from Sweden, 20 years after the Rangers’ last trip to the final and only Stanley Cup victory since 1940, and one year to the day after firing John Tortorella as coach, the Blueshirts found a way to win the most important hockey game played in New York in two decades, since the victorious Game 7 against Vancouver on June 14, 1994, that signified the waiting was over.
Via Shnarped Hockey, it's quite the compliment for an old, crazy Czech who's been arguing with Jaromir Jagr lately when people call this remarkable Henrik Lundqvist save a "Hasek":
Thomas Vanek can't buy a goal (ha).
Lundqvist has put game 5 behind him...
from Cathal Kelly of the Globe and Mail,
Nine years into his North American career, Lundqvist is shaping up as one of the great value buys in sport. He has a new seven-year, $59.5-million (U.S.) deal that will carry him to his 38th birthday. It was signed last year, and some wondered about the term for a player already in his 30s. No one’s wondering any more.
His employer, the Madison Square Garden Company, makes more than $2-million from each home playoff game. MSG’s premier franchise, the Knicks, isn’t helping out any in that regard.
As close to single-handed as is possible in a team game, Lundqvist has already earned back next year’s salary. He looks good value to write off the following one as well in the next few weeks.
If he were just good at his job, that would be one thing. A great many hockey players seem superhuman on the ice, and then alarmingly typical off it. That’s part of the sport’s core charm. Up close, most of these guys really do look like the rest of us (if the rest of us lived at the gym).
But Lundqvist has the presence to transcend his game and its gap-toothed image. He’s special somehow. He has a twin brother, Joel, who played briefly in Dallas. Though just as well-scrubbed, Joel Lundqvist is not Henrik. You wonder how the poor guy hasn’t succumbed to despair.
While the Montreal Canadiens were worried about their goaltending, in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference final, the goaltender opposite Dustin Tokarski stole the show, as the AP's recap of the New York Rangers' 3-1 win reports:
Henrik Lundqvist made 40 saves and Martin St. Louis scored in the second period as the New York Rangers earned a 3-1 victory over the Carey Price-less Montreal Canadiens on Monday.
The Rangers lead the best-of-seven Eastern Conference final 2-0 heading back to New York for Game 3 on Thursday and Game 4 on Sunday.
St. Louis scored a day after he and his teammates attended the funeral of his mother, who died just before Mother's Day. The Rangers have rallied around the grieving veteran and have won five in a row.
New York's Rick Nash also scored while Ryan McDonagh added a goal and an assist to give the defenseman six points in the opening two games of the series.
Max Pacioretty scored for Montreal, which outshot New York 41-30.
The AP's recap continues, and here's a highlight clip:
If you missed the incident, watch it here...
The New York Rangers climbed back into their series with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday, turning the tables on a team that's offensively dominated them via a 5-1 win in Pittsburgh...
But "the story" of the game didn't involve Derek Brassard's 2-goal game or Henrik Lundqvist's 31-save performance: it involved the inspiration the Rangers took from a player who posted no points in Martin St. Louis.
ESPN's Scott Burnside suggests that St. Louis' presence in the lineup--a day after his mother passed away--inspired the Rangers to reestablish their game:
Where we saw a New York Rangers team drained of emotion, fragile, beaten; they revealed themselves to be proud, defiant, finding a hitherto unknown wellspring of will in beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1 in Game 5 to keep their playoff hopes alive for at least one more game.
Maybe it was the emotionally charged locker room as the Rangers rallied around a grief-stricken Martin St. Louis who chose to return to Pittsburgh from Montreal to play in Game 5 after his mother passed away suddenly Thursday.
There is no denying that his decision to return to his teammates, many of whom he has known only a matter of months since coming to the Rangers from Tampa Bay at the trade deadline, resonated throughout the locker room.
"We are a team and we're a close team. In the short time he's been here, he's pretty magnetic. He's got a love for this game and being around the rink and the guys already that we all appreciate and know, and the respect that we have for him. It was tough for all of us. But that's something that was impressive watching him tonight," Brian Boyle said. He's a special, special person."
Burnside continues, and here's a highlight clip...
George here on the late shift. I'm getting ready to wake up a little bit early to watch Wings players take part in the World Championships, which begin on Friday. The European press tends to look at the NHL playoffs from a rather Machiavellian perspective--sometimes actively rooting against the teams whose players include important national team contributors--and as such, I had one thought as Evgeni Malkin's 1-0 goal slithered past a goaltender who's more or less been left to his devices in Henrik Lunqvist:
"[Team Sweden coach and GM] Par Marts must be watching this game thinking, 'I can get Henke to Minsk by Sunday!'"
The Penguins defeated Lundqvist's Rangers 4-2, taking a 3-games-to-none series lead, and while the Penguins lost Brooks Orpik's services, the Rangers' combination of struggling stars on offense and a sometimes-shaky defense reminds me of--dare I say it?--the Wings-Bruins series.
The Free Press's Helene St. James, writing for USA Today, reports that Team Sweden suffered from a friendly fire incident at today's pratcice:
The Swedes have a joke about defenseman Erik Karlsson: He has one speed, and that's wrecking ball.
They are on him about slowing down in practice, though, because Monday morning at Bolshoy Training Rink, Karlsson knocked down star goaltender Henrik Lundqvist giving chase to Loui Eriksson, and wiped out star scorer Daniel Alfredsson.
"That's a tough thing," Alfredsson said, "because he really wanted to catch Loui on the breakaway and threw himself down, and Henrik was trying to make the save, and they just pummeled each other. We can laugh at it now because it wasn't too serious, but it gave everybody a big scare."
St. James continues, and the Canadians and Americans are speaking to the media at the time I'm writing this (3:48 AM)...
The New York Post's Larry Brooks ponders the fates of Ryan Callahan, Thomas Vanek and Marian Gaborik in his weekly notebook, but the part that caught my attention involves an issue regarding which Sweden's starting goaltender at Sochi Olympics and Team Canada's coach are in complete agreement:
Team Sweden’s security blanket that goes by the name of Henrik Lundqvist has concerns over security in Sochi, but that’s not the only reason the royal family won’t be accompanying the King to the Olympics.
“It is a few different things,” Lundqvist told Slap Shots on Friday night. “Security is one of them, but I don’t know how things are going to be set up for families over there. So I’m not going to have anyone there with me. I think it is better that way.”
The NHLPA has not issued any broad-based advisories to its membership, and there is no unanimity on the matter, but several agents and players have said the union, citing a lack of suitable hotels and accommodations outside of the Olympic compound where the players will be housed, is recommending families don’t make the trip.
When Red Wings coach Mike Babcock spoke with our local NBC affiliate regarding bringing his family to Sochi versus bringing his family to Vancouver, he cited the distance, language, culture and the difficulties in coordinating familial activities half a world away.
Brooks continues, and I'm guessing that Lundqvist and Babcock aren't alone in choosing to ask their families to cheer from home...
added 11:20am, Larry Brooks on the contract extension.
added 12:41pm, Official release of the signing is below...
During the five minute post-practice media scrum, Lundqvist says he is not sure if he will be ready to play on Saturday and states he suffered the injury in the 2nd game of the season.
from Katie Strang of ESPNNewYork,
He surrendered two shaky goals in the first period -- Andrei Loktionov buried a rebound five-hole at 7:22; Adam Henrique beat him from the left faceoff circle later in the frame -- and didn't even remotely resemble the same player that was aggressive in turning away all 22 shots in a shutout performance against the Capitals on Wednesday.
In fact, he hasn't really resembled his former Vezina Trophy-winning self all season, though it's still early. The stretch is unlike any other in recent memory for Lundqvist, and it's cause for concern.
In seven appearances this season, Lundqvist has given up 20 goals for a 3.45 goals-against average and an .890 save percentage.
"I don't want to over-analyze it. There are a few things I need to work on, but I think mostly it's the way I focus," he said. "When I play well, my focus is really crisp and I'm making good decisions. I feel like right now, it's a little up and down in how well I make decisions out there."
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Lundqvist, who will turn 32 in early March, characterized the talks between his camp and management as in, “the early stages.” The fact is that there has been little, if any, bargaining between the parties. The goaltender is entering the final season of the six-year, $41.25 million contract he signed in February of 2008.
His current $6.875 million cap hit is third among NHL goaltenders behind Nashville’s Pekka Rinne and Boston’s Tuukka Rask, both of whom are in at $7 million per. Lundqvist is 24th in the league in average salary and second on the Rangers behind Rick Nash’s $7.8 million per. It is likely that the King will earn between $8.25 and $9.5 million on an eight-year max contract.
But in order to reach an agreement, the parties will have to do some actual negotiating. Lundqvist said that he will decide at the end of training camp whether to allow talks to continue during the season.
“Ideally, of course it would be nice to have everything in place by the time the season starts [on Oct. 3], but at the same time, it’s not a must,” Lundqvist said. “My agent [Don Meehan] is going to be handling it all until I have to be involved at the end, so I am going to be able to focus mentally on playing without the contract being a distraction.
“I have kind of downplayed this since the end of last season because I didn’t want to put pressure on myself or the Rangers to have it done by now. The most important thing is that we’re talking,” said the goaltender.
Perhaps the best save I have seen all year.
Lundqvist, even though out of position, finds the puck and is able to get his leg out to make a great save. The overhead camera at the end of the video is the best angle to see exactly what Lundqvist did.
Elliotte Friedman of HNIC interviewed Lundqvist and friends for this five minute Inside Hockey piece.
IMG Worldwide, the global sports, fashion and media company, announced today (July 23rd) that it has signed the popular NHL New York Rangers All-Star goalie Henrik Lundqvist exclusively for representation in marketing, speaking and broadcasting.
This past season, the 30-year-old Swedish born Lundqvist won his first Vezina Trophy, awarded annually to the NHL’s best goaltender, became the only goaltender in NHL history to record 30 wins in each of his first seven seasons, led the Rangers to the Eastern Conference Finals and was named First Team NHL All-Star.
“Henrik is a very special athlete and we are honored that he has selected IMG to manage the business side of his incredibly successful NHL career,” said Sandy Montag, Senior Corporate Vice President, Managing Director of Clients at IMG. “His reputation far exceeds the boundaries of hockey and his potential off the ice is as great as his accomplishments on it. He helped Sweden win Olympic Gold in 2006 and has established himself as one of the all time New York Rangers greats. He’s a genuinely terrific human being whose interests from rock and roll to fashion and now fatherhood have made him popular in New York and around the world.”
Henrik Lundqvist was upset with the controversial late goal by the Senators last night and spoke about it post-game.
I don’t know about you, but my feelings are the Rangers won the game, brush the goal off and move on.
Instead, Lundqvist went in the opposite direction.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
What we have here is a team with a realistic chance of winning its first Stanley Cup in 18 years and second in 72 years with the playoffs beginning tomorrow night at Madison Square Garden with Game 1 of the opening round against the Senators.
We have a team of blue collar laborers proud of that identity led by royalty in nets who, truth be told, is a Black-and-Blueshirt at heart and who is fit for a hard hat every bit as much for a crown.
“My game has always been about battling, first,” The King told The Post last week in Pittsburgh. “It has always been about competing.
“It’s always been about doing everything I could to win.”
The King, the nickname I bestowed upon the goaltender in the game story that followed his fourth NHL start and first shutout in October 2005 — “He is King Henrik of Sweden,” I remember writing as if it were yesterday, so apparent were his world-class skills—is everywhere these days, the name above the title on the Broadway marquee.
from Melissa Hoppert of Slap Shot at the NYT,
Goaltender Henrik Lunqvist, who has steadily guided the Rangers to first place in the Eastern Conference this season, will be showcased on HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” when it airs tonight at 10 p.m. Eastern time.
The segment titled “King Henrik” opens with footage of Lundqvist’s recent gig at the Canal Room with his band, The Noise Upstairs, and its special guest, the tennis great John McEnroe. It delves into Lundqvist’s guitar-playing, his impeccable taste, good looks, beautiful wife, and, of course, his athletic gift.
continued and watch a video clip of the interview below or at the linked site…