By: Gene Morris
Henrik Lundqvist appeared on the #1 talk radio show in New York – Mike’d Up – one day after the Winter Classic to talk hockey with host Mike Francesa.
Francesa, who has been around forever, is the most popular sports talk host in New York and one of the more successful and long running hosts in the country. Lundqvist, charming and well-spoken as always, talked about the lead up to the game, the Rangers great start in the first half and about the penalty shot against Danny Briere in the waning moments of the classic.
There wasn’t a whole lot of new information that came out of the interview but it was nice to see a Ranger player get an appearance on such a high profile show. It didn’t seem like something that was Francesa’s idea – “We’ve decided – the Garden said, ‘hey do you want to talk to our goalie?’ I said well sure, have him pop up!”
After the rousing introduction Francesa, who admittedly didn’t even watch the game because he was “watching football all day,” asked Lundqvist about the excitement of being part of such an “extravaganza.”
“I think everybody was really excited about it,” Lundqvist said. “We went into camp in September and already started talking about this game. It’s been such a big build up. We had two games against the Flyers going into this game – great games by the way – and we had HBO following us around for a month. So it’s been a lot of talk and a lot of questions about this game. Going into it I think everybody was really excited and I think looking back at it, it was just a great experience.”
After asking Lundqvist if the lighting was any different playing during the day outside than playing inside, asked Lundqvist about the team’s success during the season. “I said to my guys who are my hockey guys who watch it every day ‘alright tell me what I should talk to Lundqvist about today – and they said ask him if he thinks this team is as special as it looks right now…”
Lundqvist obliged, saying ““I think the whole groups feels good about how we play and where we are right now but we have to just keep working as hard as we’ve been doing and I think we’re going to have a fun spring.”
Then Francesa did his best to break down the penalty shot Lundqvist faced from Briere.
“Take me through this – I know nothing about the guy who’s squaring up against you on the penalty shot, I know nothing about his style or what he does, his strength’s or weaknesses,” he said.
And again Lundqvist elegantly broke the play down piece by piece instead of scoffing at the lead in to the question.
If the Rangers continue to play well as the season moves along another appearance by Lundqvist or even John Tortorella could be in the cards. Hopefully by that time the host will have taken notice of one of the best teams in the NHL.
Click here to listen to the interview in its entirety.