Henrik Lundqvist has grown frustrated with the New York Rangers’ three-goalie rotation that’s been active in the new year.
Henrik Lundqvist hasn’t said much over the last two months. He has gone about his business as the team’s backup goalie (to both Igor Shesterkin and Alexandar Georgiev). He doesn’t appear to be willing to accept such a foreign role that keeps him on the bench.
Yet, the decision is not his to be made any longer.
It’s a huge issue for the New York Rangers.
Expressen.se reporter Johan Eriksson spoke with Henrik at the team’s training facility in Tarrytown, NY. Eriksson asked most of the questions every fan has wanted to ask for the past few months.
Henrik displayed some frustration in his answers, which was apparent in his response, but he did his best to remain respectful to the coach and the only NHL organization’s known.
Hank has only started four games since the start of the new year with a 1-3 record—a far cry for the years of 30 wins he has experienced. Eriksson also reported Lundqvist didn’t appear to be having any fun on the ice at the Tuesday Practice.
Henrik didn’t know the next time he would start a game for his beloved Rangers telling Eriksson.
“I take it day-by-day, have been doing it for quite some time,” Lundqvist said. “I try to train well and keep up. And hopefully … it will be something good.” When asked about what he would consider being good, All Henrik would comment was, “It’s Clear I want to Play.”
Something that has rarely been mention in New York is how the discussions between head coach David Quinn and Lundqvist have gone since the arrival of Igor Shesterkin. When asked about Quinn, Henrik began to answer with a long pause, then first answered the question with one of his own, “Yes… How are they … ?
“Hard to say. Well, but I will get some matches. But it doesn’t look like I’m going to play very much.”
His response, for the first time, showed the frustration Henrik has with Quinn and his decisions to play Georgiev and Shesterkin.
Another topic fans and social media have wondered was the issue of Hank’s no-trade clause. When asked if the discussion has arisen about waiving his NTC, Hank had no comment. Eriksson made note that it wasn’t a “no” to the question. Henrik went on to say, “the discussions we have, we keep them in-house; it’s not something we talk to you about.”
Henrik feels that his body is in great shape, but his mind now is the reason he struggles.
“It’s more match focus and so on … When you play, you get in and fight. It won’t be as it usually feels, but you have to work hard to find that feeling. That’s it.”
The rumors surrounding his no-trade clause waiver have increased lately, especially due to the Colorado situation, where the Avalanche’s No. 1 goaltender, Philipp Grubauer, is out indefinitely with an injury. Hank referred to keeping those conversations between himself and the team private.
Henrik also declined to comment on a potential buyout situation that could occur at the end of this season. He ended by explaining how much his wife and two children have helped him through what he considers to be the most difficult time as a hockey player.
Lundqvist had to be aware that his playing time would decrease with the emergence of Shesterkin. What he, and for that matter, a loyal Rangerstown fanbase were not ready for was how quickly the decision would be made not to play him.
Only four-and-change days separate the Rangers from the trade deadline. For now, Henrik Lundqvist is a backup goaltender. Yes, it’s a problem for the Blueshirts.