After missing yesterday's informal practice, Henrik Lundqvist arrived today and discussed the pressures of being a Stanley Cup favorite (via Blueshirts United)...
“I think it's going to be important how we handle the pressure we put on ourselves and the pressure we will feel from the outside. We had a great year last year, but we worked really hard for it, so we have to realize why we had that success.”
According to Andrew Gross at the Bergen Record it has not been determined how many of the 48 games Lundqvist will play this season.
...as has been the case since he arrived in New York, the Rangers will only go as far as Lundqvist takes them. While Biron will get his work in, a 48-game schedule gives no room for error, so expect a heavy dose of Hank.
Here's a sight for sore eyes from practice (via Rangers Report)...
Dan Girardi and Stu Bickel also arrived today. That leaves Marian Gaborik (en route from Europe), Chris Kreider (with Whale) and Marty Biron (no idea) as the only ones MIA at this point.
I wonder if Hank's streak (30+ wins for his first 7 consecutive seasons) which represents an all time record for the franchise will be broken this year?
Are fans aloud to watch practice? I know some NHL teams allow it but I have a feeling the Rangers don't. My Dad retired and I have some vacation left over and I kinda wanted to go with him if it would be worth it.
The season is going to be really compact, lots of 3 games in 4 days, home-and-homes, etc. I think Biron is more than capable of handling 10-12 starts.
I hope Hank frustrates guys like he did in the Sandy Relief game. I loved hearing guys talk about the form he was in for that game.
Did a quick bit of crunching: If he starts the same percentage of the season that he started last year (75.6%), he will start 36 games. Though it should be noted that the compressed season will mean more back to backs and probably a lower percentage of games played.
If he wins the same percentage of games that he won last year (62.9%, his career best) he only wins 22 games in 36 starts this season.
In order to win 30 games at that win percentage, he would need to start every game of the season.
@JohnSikulaIII Thanks for the update!
@GLENsatherVSglennDANZIG As far as I know, Rangers practice is NOT open to fans. You don't really think Torts would have an open practice do you?
@cb1 I think the amount of work will depend on how the team starts. Quick start and I agree with you. If they get behind the eight ball, I think Torts rides Lundqvist.
@KevinDeLury I figured he wouldn't. But I just wanted to make sure. It would be pretty awesome though. I'd make a yearly pilgrimage for it.