There's no looking back for Lundqvist

Notebook: Henrik says Biron's a key acquisition; Avery sets his sights high

Wednesday, 09.01.2010 / 1:30 PM / News
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There\'s no looking back for Lundqvist
 
Henrik Lundqvist
Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist has been on the ice each of the past three days at the Training Center, and he looks forward to being joined there by the team's new backup netminder Martin Biron.
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By Jim Cerny, newyorkrangers.com

Fresh off having a Gray Line bus named in his honor and taking part in the “Ride of Fame” in Manhattan on Tuesday, Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was back at work early Wednesday morning as he took part in another informal on-ice group workout with 10 of his teammates.

“It was really a lot of fun,” Lundqvist said of Tuesday’s festivities. “It was a good day.”

While he was willing to look back a day, Lundqvist was not as inclined to look back and analyze what transpired in 2009-10 when the Rangers fell one point shy of an Eastern Conference playoff berth on the regular season’s final day. Instead, his focus is clearly on the task at hand for the upcoming 2010-11 campaign.

“I don’t look back too much,” said Lundqvist. “It’s more important to look ahead and be on the right side of things. But I do know that we have to be more consistent than we were last season. We played some really good hockey last year, but we were not nearly consistent enough.”

Lundqvist, who spent much of his off-season in New York while also traveling to his native Sweden and vacation spots in Miami and Jamaica, reported that he was happy to hear of the club’s signing of veteran goalie Martin Biron back on July 1. After starting 72 of the Blueshirts’ 82 games a year ago, he is looking forward to seeing Biron take some of the regular-season load off of his shoulders.

“It was a really good move,” said Lundqvist, who won 35 games last season while posting a 2.38 goals against average and a .921 save percentage. “I don’t think for a regular season that 72 games is too much, but if you want to play into June, it is too much. And that should always be our goal, to go deep into the playoffs and play into June.”

Avery has vision for new season

Sean Avery
Looking to be in tremendous physical condition, Rangers forward Sean Avery also took part in Wednesday’s workout at the MSG Training Center. Like Lundqvist, Avery had little interest in reflecting on last season and was much more focused on the year to come.

“I am not looking back,” Avery stated. “It wasn’t a good year. Instead I am thinking about what I’d like to see happen.”

Avery appeared in 69 games with the Blueshirts last season, totaling 31 points and 160 penalty minutes. Prior to having his season end with a knee injury on March 27 in Toronto, Avery had produced nine points (3-6-9) in his previous seven games -- his best stretch of the season.

“I am all healed up and feeling good,” said Avery. “I am focused now in a different way. I have a different mentality as far as a personal standpoint is concerned and I am ready to go.”

The rugged winger, who is 11 games shy of 500 for his NHL career, has a vision of what he hopes to see from the Rangers this upcoming season, too.

“I’d like to see us gain our identity back where we outworked other teams, weren’t intimidated by other teams, and won games,” he said.

Kennedy expected to join workouts Thursday


The newest Ranger, forward Tim Kennedy, is expected to be at the MSG Training Center for the first time on Thursday, likely to be joined by defenseman Michael Del Zotto at the informal group workout. Wednesday’s on-ice group included Lundqvist, Avery, Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan, Wade Redden, Todd White, Artem Anisimov, Steve Eminger, Evgeny Grachev, Matt Gilroy and Pavel Valentenko.