Henrik Lundqvist has arguably never had a bad season and while the upcoming campaign might not be the exception, it wouldn’t shock him if it took him some time to find his groove.
The New York Rangers goaltender didn’t play in Europe during the work stoppage and he won’t get to participate in any exhibition contests before the season starts. With that in mind, rust could be a factor.
“To reach your top limit, I think you need a couple [preseason] games,” he said, according to Newsday. “You can’t expect yourself to go out and play your absolute best if you haven’t played for eight months. You get a week or something, but no games, so it’s definitely going to be a challenge.
“I’m not going to lie, I don’t feel great out there . . . I’m going to put pressure on myself to get back as soon as possible, but at the same time, you need to have a little patience, too. I don’t think my game’s going to be perfect right away.”
The players that found work during the lockout might be at an advantage early on and we might be in for some high scoring games as many goaltenders in particular adjust on the fly.