New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist revealed after the season that he was playing through a nagging knee injury suffered in late-October, but the 36-year-old said in an interview with the New York Post that he’s feeling healthy.
“I’m healthy and I'm feeling good. I decided to spend more time on the ice this summer to work on all aspects of my game. Last season ended early and I didn’t want to wait until August like I normally do. It has nothing to do with my age,” he told the Post via email.
“It’s just the fact that I want to get better and see this as an opportunity to work on things.”
He noted in April that it was the same knee he injured during the world hockey championship last spring – declining to play this time around – when he decided to join Team Sweden once the Rangers were eliminated from the playoffs.
“After that, it’s been there. Something I had to deal with … it’s not affecting my play, but it’s something that every day you have to look after. It’s not ideal, but I think it’s part of playing in this league, too. You play every day and you just have to make sure you do whatever is necessary to be read to play. But now I see an opportunity to get the right treatments and feel 100 per cent,” he said.
Lundqvist started in 61 games last season and had a save percentage of .915 and a GAA of 2.98. The Rangers struggled, finishing at 34-39-9 to miss the playoffs for the first time in eight seasons.
“It was a season with two faces — the first half and second half,” Lundqvist said. “The first half we were right in it, and personally I felt as good as I have in years. The second half was definitely more challenging for many reasons. Injuries to important players and the decision to rebuild obviously had major impacts on the outcome.”
Meanwhile, the netminder said he was excited to get to know new Rangers coach David Quinn, who was hired last month as a replacement for Alain Vigneault.
“I’m excited to see what he can bring to the table. College or NHL, to me it really doesn’t matter. What matters is the knowledge of the game and how to use it the best way possible.
He noted that they have not yet been in touch, but plan to speak before camp in September.