Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: henrik lundqvist
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.
Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
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…
from Barbara Barker of Newsday,
His hair is perfect, his tuxedo is beautiful and his manners are flawless. All of which is proving to be a serious liability to Henrik Lundqvist as he tries to move across the room to a blackjack table at a benefit for the Garden of Dreams Foundation in Midtown Manhattan.
Men, women and cameras block him at every turn. Everyone wants just one quick picture with the Rangers goalkeeper. While many New Yorkers would be hard-pressed to place Lundqvist’s famous-looking face—he does spend his working day wearing a white plastic mask, after all—this is a hockey crowd. And to them, Lundqvist is a rock star. “He is a really good-looking guy,” says one fan in a suit as he pushes his giggling girlfriend at Lundqvist so he can photograph them together.
Eventually a public relations person comes to save The King. Lundqvist makes it over to the blackjack table, only to pose for more pictures. The whole scene seems to underscore one fact about Lundqvist: If he played any other major sport, this would be his everyday life. If he didn’t play a sport in which his entire body was encased in pads and plastic, he wouldn’t be able to walk down the street outside his restaurant in TriBeCa without anyone recognizing him. He would be a Derek Jeter or a Carmelo Anthony or Eli Manning.
Kelly Hrudey of CBC answers and email,
Goalies are vital in a playoff run. What does it take to be the goalie who will excel under the pressure of a playoff run. Do you see anyone like that this year?
There is so much that goes into playing the position of goalie. While growing up, all the goalies in the NHL separated themselves from the competition by being better in two areas: technique and mental toughness.
All through amateur hockey you see a lot of goalies with only one of those qualities but not the combination….
More than anything, it’s who’s better at not getting distracted with negative thoughts during a game and a series.
For those reasons I’m really looking to Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers to excel in these playoffs. He has grown so much in the last few years and I think the previous playoff losses will have helped him manage his emotions during the course of a series.
from Johnette Howard of ESPN New York,
They are the best New York sports story going in the city other than Linsanity, and yet they haven’t captured the city’s imagination the way they’re going to if Henrik Lundqvist can just keep his pace up. But whether he can is the question on which the Rangers’ Stanley Cup hopes pivot. Because unlike the 39-year-old master facing him at the other end of the ice Tuesday night—Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur—Lundqvist, now in his seventh NHL season, is still waiting to have the NHL postseason of his life.
And no athlete in New York is under more pressure to make sure 2012 is the season he comes through.
Carrying the Rangers deep in the playoffs is the last asterisk Lundqvist needs to remove from his career, and he need look no further than Brodeur for a blueprint on how a goaltender who stands on his head night after night can take a team from merely contending to having a victory parade.
from Jeff Z. Klein of Slap Shot at the NY Times,
Q.Henk, after the Rangers were eliminated in the first round last season you said that you felt your chance to win a Stanley Cup had become limited.
A.Yes, you do start to realize that your time is limited. I try to enjoy it at the same time — I realize I’m very lucky to be playing, and to be here in New York. But I realize, “O.K., I don’t have that many chances.” When you’re young you don’t think about your future. As you get older you start to realize you have to make the best of it. I was real disappointed last year. I was excited to be in the playoffs, but then it felt like we could have done better, starting with me. You always feel like you can play better.
So this summer I was anxious to see what’s going on. We had a lot of guys to sign. So it was big to see that we got most of the guys back, and then we signed Brad Richards. That was very exciting to see. I’m very excited about this year. There are a lot of things — the Europe trip, the Winter Classic, HBO, the home arena is a little different now too — a lot of things going on.
Determining a first overall pick in this year’s fantasy hockey drafts is anything but easy, but we probably know this much: the first overall pick won’t be a goalie. Yet a goalie is an important investment to fantasy hockey teams, since only two goalies can be responsible for four out of a team’s ten stat categories in many fantasy hockey leagues. The need for solid goaltending explains why many starting goalies can fly off the board early in fantasy hockey drafts.
Filed in: Fantasy Hockey and Gaming, thegoods13, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: carey+price, cory+schneider, fantasy+hockey, goalies, henrik+lundqvist, ilya+bryzgalov, jose+theodore, martin+brodeur, nikolai+khabibulin, pekka+rinne, roberto+luongo, ryan+miller, sergei+bobrovsky, steve+mason, tim+thomas, tomas+vokoun, tuukka+rask
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Lundqvist has started 29 straight games now for the Rangers. He will have all summer to rest. The Rangers need big plays at big moments from big players, like the one from Dubinsky—but their goaltender is their rock, their anchor, their foundation.
“Hank was great for us, like he always is,” said Vinny Prospal, who scored on a rebound in the third to give the Rangers the 2-1 lead that Mike Knuble’s score negated. “But we can’t expect him to do it by himself. We have to give him some support, too.”
Lundqvist is 29, finishing his sixth NHL season already. It seems like only yesterday that Jaromir Jagr looked to his right at training camp in 2005, saw the rookie out of Sweden who was supposed to be a backup in his first North American season that first year after the lockout, and announced, “We have a world-class goalie here.”
The intent of my trip to Raleigh for coverage of All-Star Weekend was simple: Get a feel for the experience from a professional perspective as well as monitor the pulse of the fans, chat up some players I don’t get to see all that often and also those I see on a regular basis in a different element, do some networking and, as Boss Man Paul continually reminded me to do throughout the weekend, have a little fun.
Looking back, that final component is exactly what I’ll remember most about the adventure and my guess is that most that attended All-Star Weekend – be they fans, players, media, league execs, sponsors or those belonging to some other miscellaneous category – would probably say the same thing.
Raleigh, as many others have opined before me, did a wonderful job as a host. The locals were as excited for the event as they were prepared, welcoming, happy and proud of their city, as well they should be. I’d never spent any significant time in these parts in the past but it will definitely be worth another stop in the future.
This being my first big league event, I had consulted with several people who have experienced something of this nature in the past in the weeks leading up to the trip and, while a few cautioned that an occasion of this magnitude could be slightly intimidating at times, I didn’t find that to be true at all for myself and I’m not sure many other first-timers would say otherwise. The vibe, from the moment I picked up my credentials on Friday morning, was light-hearted. At the same time, the entire operation throughout the weekend was first-class. Kudos to the NHL, the city of Raleigh and the Carolina Hurricanes for pulling everything off in fine fashion.
Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: cam+ward, eric+staal, henrik+lundqvist, jeremy+roenick, marc+staal, nhl+all-star+game, nhl+superskills, patrick+kane, phil+kessel, the+guardian+project, tim+thomas
I thought I was totally joking when I asked a couple of All-Star goalies how they would feel about a goaltender’s fastest skater competition. But last night’s first overall pick in the NHL’s inaugural All-Star Fantasy Draft, Carolina’s Cam Ward, let the cat out of the bag that tonight, my little joke would indeed become a reality as part of this year’s SuperSkills.
“Rumor is that I’m going to be doing that tonight,” Ward said. “I hope my legs don’t turn to jelly and I don’t bite it into the corner or anything like that.”
“I think I’m going up against Tim Thomas.”
Boston and Carolina fans have since endured some heart palpitations, I’m sure.
Filed in: NHL Teams, d, Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: cam+ward, eric+staal, henrik+lundqvist, keith+yandle, martin+st.+louis, nhl+all-star+game, p.k.+subban, steven+stamkos, superskills, tim+thomas
Mikael Samuelsson, Henrik Lundqvist and referee Marcus Vinnerborg share a Swedish moment.
JJ’s Three Cheers: 11/01/10 - Plus Thoughts on Tampa’s Continued Hot Start and Stamkos Contract Talk
Perhaps you enjoyed a day of rest from NHL hockey yesterday. Or, more likely, you were angered, annoyed or even lost at some point last night, with not a shot on goal to be had anywhere. (Or maybe, even, you were like me: Incensed at an awful showing in your weekly football picks – and I mean awful – and left without the catharsis of switching to a different sport at day’s end, left only to the comfort of Dexter and his serial-killing ways… Whatever the case may be, we (or I, that is) have some catching up to do with JJ’s Three Cheers overdue from Friday and Saturday.
Now then, quickly, from Friday first:
***Cheers to Atlanta’s Dustin Byfuglien, whose transition back to defense has gone quite well in his new home. On Friday night, Byfuglien netted the O.T. winner in fantastic fashion for Atlanta, on an end-to-end rush reminiscent of legendary offensive defensemen of years gone by, to top Buffalo 4-3. (I’ll link it twice, actually, because you need to make sure you’ve seen this play.)
Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, d, Carolina Hurricanes, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: alex+ovechkin, claude+giroux, dustin+byfuglien, henrik+lundqvist, jay+mcclement, jeff+skinner, steven+stamkos
from Cathal Kelly of the Toronto Star,
Apparently, New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist has to wait until the off-season to score.
Swedish tabloids are linking Lundqvist, a Swede, with his home country’s fetching young royal, Princess Madeleine. Or, as her friends know her, the Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland.
The 27-year-old princess is embroiled in a tabloid disaster, after her long-time fiancé, lawyer Jonas Bergstrom, was outed after a one-nighter with a college student.
The words of Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist after the game.
Lundqvist is followed by Gaborik and Drury in the video.
May be considered vulgar.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
It’s a good thing that Tortorella recognized that The King is as indispensable as it gets in this league, as important to his team as any player in the NHL, and that includes fellow royal court members Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby.
You know, it’s strange. Tortorella came to New York with a reputation for chewing up and spitting out goaltenders. But he’s been a softie with Lundqvist, careful with his words in appraising the goaltender’s play as if he recognizes that alienating The King is the last thing he could afford.
“I think, as a goalie, you can’t think that you have to win. You have to think, ‘Just play as good as you can and give your team a chance to win,’ because I can’t really effect how we play as a team or if we score or not. If I get too involved emotionally with how we do as a team, I’ll lose focus on my end, my job.”
-New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. More on Lundqvist from Scott Burnside of ESPN.
Devils win 1-0 over the Rangers in a shootout.
In case you missed the game (Versus/Directv, you need to get this settled).
Game story by Dave Lozo of NHL.com.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Henrik Lundqvist has been scratched from his scheduled start here tonight against the Flames.
Head coach John Tortorella, who on Friday named The King as his goaltender, claimed he was simply, “giving Hank rest,” but the goaltender received extensive treatment in the medical room following the morning skate.
It is believed that Lundqvist is nursing a lower body injury; perhaps a sore groin.
update 4:24pm, forget this story, I had a brain freeze and posted an outdated story.
from Steve Zipay of Blue Notes,
Less than 24 hours after coach John Tortorella declared that Henrik Lundqvist would start the final game of this three-game trip, he reversed gears and said backup Steve Valiquette would be in the nets for his second consecutive game. “Vally is going. It’s just rest for Hank,” was all Tortorella would say, but the Rangers No. 1 goalie is fighting a nagging injury.
Lundqvist (8-5-1, 2.52 GAA) mentioned the other day that the ice pack on his “stiff” right upper thigh/groin was for something minor, and indeed, both goalies participated in the skate at the Saddledome and Valiquette left the ice first while Lundqvist chatted at center ice with Sean Avery and other players. In the dessing room, Lundqvist removed his equipment and disappeared for treatment for more than an hour. When he emerged he said that was pretty confident that he would play against Atlanta on Thursday, a nine-day layoff.
Nicklas Backstrom from center ice scores on Henrik Lundqvist.