Henrik Lundqvist is playing in his seventh home opener, but the Rangers goaltender says it never gets old.
“It doesn’t matter how many years you play in the league,” Lundqvist said after Thursday morning’s pre-game skate. “There’s emotions and you’re really excited everytime.”
The Rangers played their first seven games on the road as the first phase of the Garden’s three-year renovation plan was being completed. They traveled over 5,000 miles during the trip, so they’re glad to be back home and playing in a familiar place.
“It’s been a few weeks here where we’ve been traveling a lot and we’ve been playing a lot,” Lundqvist said. “It’s a great feeling to be back in New York and play hockey in front of our home crowd.”
The 29-year-old Lundqvist has been stellar so far. He comes into Thursday night’s contest against Toronto sporting a 2-2-2 record with a 1.82 goals-against average and a .942 save percentage.
“There’s always things you wanna do better that you try to work on,” Lundqvist said, “but my timing has been pretty good. At the same time, you have to prove it every night. So far my game has been pretty close to where I want it to be, but I definitely wanna help the team get more wins and hopefully it can start tonight.”
The Rangers were a rather average team at home last season, going 20-17-4 in MSG.
“We’re not gonna over-think it,” Lundqvist said of the team's home woes. “We know if you wanna be a playoff team, especially a good playoff team you have to take care of business at home. We know that. I think there’s no need to make a big deal about it. We just have to play our game. In the end it’s more about getting points than playing well.”