Lundqvist shuts out Finland in first start following summer of scrutiny
Henrik Lundqvist was supposed to be washed up. It appears he didn’t get the memo.
In his first meaningful start of the new campaign, Lundqvist looked superb. He finished up with 36 saves, backstopping Sweden to their second win of the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. Lundqvist missed the first game of the tournament with an illness.
“I felt OK in the first, and got more comfortable as the game went on… I feel like every game, you feel a difference making reads and seeing pucks,” Lundqvist told Sportsnet’s John Shannon, post-game.
For Lundqvist, rebound control was something that stood out. Relatively few second chance opportunities were there for the Fins. He flashed the leather a few times, too. Most notably, Lundqvist snagged a one-timer from soon-to-be phenom, Patrick Laine, while Sweden was on the penalty kill.
Hanky was the game’s first star. The Swedes were outplayed through most of the game, but Lundqvist stayed strong. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as King Henrik has made a living of bailing his team out, night after night.
This will go a long way in silencing the doubters. After a less than stellar end to the 2015-16 season, haters were ecstatic to jump down Lundqvist’s throat. I guess you can’t blame them. Fans of rival tri-state teams relish the chance to get on a guy who’s caused them fits for the better part of a decade.
Lundqvist will continue on the quest for a second gold medal in international play. This was his fifth shutout playing with his fellow countrymen.