One year after posting the best record in the Eastern Conference, the New York Rangers are off to a slow start to kick off the abbreviated 2013 NHL regular season. But this is a veteran team with one of the league’s top goaltenders, and as they slowly appear to be getting back on track, Henrik Lundqvist isn’t panicking.
Henrik Lundqvist joined Michael Kay on ESPN Radio New York to discuss the Rangers’ slow start to the season, John Tortorella challenging the team to step it up, his play thus far and trying to get back to where they were last year when they finished first in the Eastern Conference.
On the team’s inconsistent start to the 2013 season:
“It’s been a bumpy start, no question. But [Thursday] was a big win for us. The PK was really good and I think that’s an area where we have to be really strong to want to win games. I think special teams is such a key thing to have success, so [Thursday] was really good and hopefully we can continue to build from that win.”
On head coach John Tortorella challenging the team:
“He likes to challenge players. I like that. I think it’s important we just handle it the right way and, like I said, we haven’t had the start we were looking for. It’s been a little bumpy here but we’re close. I think it’s important for us players to remember that the difference between having an OK game and not not getting the points and actually getting the two points is not that big of a difference. So we need to stay with it here.”
On how he feels he’s played thus far:
“I think I’ve been OK, but OK doesn’t mean you win a lot of hockey games, so I have to push myself to make that extra save. You’re just one or two saves away from a win every night, but when you’re not getting the points you can’t be satisfied.”
On thinking about last year’s great run while trying to get back on track early this season:
“We came up short and it was a big disappointment, but just being on that ride and having that much fun, I definitely use it every day as motivation. So I see it as a good thing but, like you said, you have to start over and not think about what happened last year or expectations around the team, or expectations we put on ourselves. We just need to focus on the things we can control right now.”