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Henrik Lundqvist on his motivation, where the Rangers are and goalie rotations

Henrik Lundqvist was a guest on Sportsnet Tim and Sid show and said:

  • On what motivates him, “you just want to challenge yourself. You want to be better than the previous year. There is still a lot to accomplish personally and as a group and each year you try to go in fresh, open mind, new teammates, new challenges but you always see some possibility to improve as a player, it doesn’t matter how old you are. The game is changing, you need to adjust to the speed and skill that is out there. Over the 14-years I’ve played in the league, a lot has happened and I think that you look at the game today and it’s different. You try to adjust to that and be very true to your game.”
  • On the excitement of where the Rangers are right now, “it’s so hard to know how long it’s going to take but last year was probably my toughest year as a pro to deal with my emotions and expectations and where we were but we all know how fast things can change. This summer was very important for the organization, made some great moves and it’s exciting to see the players coming into New York this season. I think we just need to sit down and talk within the group about the expectations and what is realistic and how far can we push this group this year. As a competitor and athlete you want to be up there right away, as soon as possible, and I think we took a big step this summer to improve and get back in the race.”
  • On how he spent the summer preparing for the season, “technically and physically I didn’t change much. I approach each season the same way, I know what to do off the ice, on the ice with training. Mentally, coming off of last season, you need to reset a bit and come in with the right type of expectations and we are still working on that with when camp starts and you get to know everybody and see where are we and what type of goals can we set for ourselves. The approach stays the same, I want to be as ready as I can, play the best that I can. I know that last year I cam in in the first 2-3 months and felt as good as I’ve felt in a few years, physically, technically, mentally so a lot of the things I did last year I did this year. Then we see, when the season starts, how we feel as a group. I’m really excited to be back in NY. I spent three months in Sweden, I came back about 10 days ago and skating pretty much every day and all these young kids show up and you start skating with them and the new players at the rink. Every year you come back re-energized and a lot of excitement there.”
  • On his expectation for starts, “it’s been trending the last few years and that has been our mindset in NY the last 3-4 years to play a little less and there was a few years where maybe the league was more tactics and you didn’t give up as many scoring chances and shots but now, if you play 3 in 4 you are pretty tired. You just have to manage that and sometimes you run with it for a few weeks and then play a little less, I think it’s good to have that dialogue and play it by ear instead of just focusing on a certain number. That will work itself out in the end, you just have to see how the team is doing, how you are playing and how you feel as opposed to that number that, in the past, it was more like we want you to play this amount of games and now it’s about how seeing how things are going and how you feel. Georgie played really well and you have goalies pushing to get more ice time and that is another factor.”
  • On the next Olympics, “Right now I’m taking it year by year but playing in the Olympics is one of the most unique experiences you can be part of as an athlete. I think it’s a great stage for hockey and to be there and be in the village, I enjoy it so much and have great memories from those tournaments.”
  • What is next after your playing career ends, “I talk about it with my wife and friends. You aren’t going to see me behind a bench, I can promise you that. A big factor is whether we stay in NY or move back to Sweden. There are so many things that interest me and for me it’s about finding something I am very passionate about. It’s going to be hard to replace the emotions and excitement and passion since it’s been my life since I’m 7-years old but I definitely have things in my life that interest me and makes me happy and probably explore that when that day comes.”