New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist returned to New York from Sweden early to make sure everything will be in place as the Rangers prepare for another run at the Stanley Cup.
“I think it’s important that you don’t think too much about last season or already now start thinking about how we want to win, we want to be in the playoffs, because there is so much work that needs to be done before you get there,” Lundqvist said.
“You just need to be focused on October and the first few games because the start we had last year shows that if everything is not in place early on it can be very challenging,” he added.
The Rangers made an improbable run to the Stanley Cup Finals last season but lost to the Los Angeles Kings in five games.
Lundqvist’s return to the MSG Training Center was the beginning of a seven-year, $59.5 million contract extension he signed last winter.
“Every day now you start thinking about the upcoming season, about how to prepare yourself and how to get ready,” said Lundqvist, who is entering his 10th NHL season. “You still have a few days where you don’t think about hockey, but you can tell it’s getting closer.”
Lundqvist struggled early last season, going 12-16-3 with a .907 save percentage and 2.76 goals-against average in 32 appearances from Oct. 3 – Jan. 6.
However, he rebounded and finished the regular season with a .920 save percentage and 2.36 GAA before improving those numbers in the Stanley Cup Playoffs to .927 and 2.14.