New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist spent about two months in the spotlight during the run to the 2014 Stanley Cup Final. Training camp is more than a week away, but he was right back in the spotlight Monday.
After participating in the annual NHL Player Media Tour earlier in the day, Lundqvist was a guest on "Late Show with David Letterman" on CBS. The host started the segment by running off Lundqvist's accomplishments with the Rangers, highlighted by becoming the first goaltender in history to win five Game 7s in his career.
Goalie - NYR
GAA: 2.36 | SVP: .920
Lundqvist is the only goaltender to win at least 30 games in each of his first seven NHL seasons. He won the Vezina Trophy as the League's top goaltender in 2012 and is tops on the Rangers' list in wins (309) and shutouts (50). New York lost to the Los Angeles Kings
in five games in the Cup Final in June.
"I could never … if I lived to be 1,000, [I] could never do what this guy does," Letterman said as he introduced Lundqvist to the audience. "Who can do what this guy does? I have nothing but endless admiration for him."
The two discussed Lundqvist's childhood, and how the 32-year-old decided to become a goaltender because of his fascination with the equipment. Lundqvist also talked about growing up with his twin brother, Joel Lundqvist, a forward who played in the Dallas Stars organization from 2006-09. Henrik then recalled when he and his brother played against each other in the NHL.
"It was weird," he said. "He did not score [against me], thank God."
Letterman asked Lundqvist about the pressures of playing in the postseason and reaching the Final, and how he's able to stop pucks coming at "80, 90, 100 miles an hour."
"Many times, Henrik, you look like a crazy man swatting flies," Letterman said. "There was one that was like you had your leg or something up over the pipe and it bounced off your skate and I thought, 'I can't watch anymore of this.' Did you ever get a break? I mean, can you just say, 'All right look, I've had enough. Let me sit down.'"
Letterman asked about other topics, including whether Lundqvist favors facing a left- or right-handed shot in the shootout, and the goalie explained how he's had to adapt to the North American game since coming over from Sweden, where he played on the larger, Olympic-size ice surface.
"Well, hell, they have more ice," Letterman quipped.
Before the segment ended the two discussed the speed of the game and how quick one has to be as a goaltender. Letterman admitted he was amazed at how Lundqvist is able to react.
"You've got to be superhuman," Letterman said. "That's what it is. You're superhuman. How do you feel about Kryptonite?"
After sharing a laugh, Lundqvist said he's eager for the 2014-15 season to get underway. The Rangers open their season Oct. 9 at the St. Louis Blues.
"I'd been back home for a couple of months, but now I'm here [New York] and we're all excited to get going again," Lundqvist said.