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From Vegas, interviews with Lundqvist and other finalists
Posted By On June 19, 2012 @ 10:15 pm In Hockey,New York Rangers,NHL,Stanley Cup playoffs | 29 Comments
Courtesy of the NHL:
Q. What would make you happy tomorrow?
HENRIK LUNDQVIST: Winning the Vezina has been a goal for a long time, so it would mean a lot. Just being here, it’s a good feeling.
Q. Would it help ease the feelings from being eliminated?
HENRIK LUNDQVIST: No, that would still hurt. But now you’re at a point where you took a step back, learned something from it. Train in the summer, got to get better.
Q. Did you watch the Final at all?
HENRIK LUNDQVIST: The last game. That’s the only game I watched. It was a weird game. L.A. played well the whole playoffs.
Q. Can you talk about Steven Stamkos as a scorer.
HENRIK LUNDQVIST: Well, his release. You have so many guys that can skate fast, can shoot far. Just the quickness of the release and always being in the right place. You can just tell he wants to score all the time. You respect that. You have to be on your toes all the time. He’s the whole package. He was unbelievable this year. It’s always a challenge.
Q. Any expectations on what will happen tomorrow night?
ERIK KARLSSON: As I said before, I’m just happy to be here. I just trust the guys who make the decisions. They’ve been doing a good job for a number of years now. No matter what happens, I’m going to have a good time and I’m going to enjoy this and it’s going to be a special moment for me. There’s a lot of guys who deserve to win.
Q. On agreeing to terms on a seven-year contract extension with the Senators…
ERIK KARLSSON: I mean, obviously I’m very happy, as I said before, with everything, how it went. All the discussions we’ve had have been good discussions. It’s been fair, no-back stabbing or anything like that. I mean, we have a lot of respect for Ottawa’s organization. They’ve been around for a while. Bryan, as well, he’s done a terrific job with Ottawa as long as he’s been here, I think. I have full confidence in him and in the organization, as well.
Q. On the negotiations….
ERIK KARLSSON: I mean, obviously I knew everybody was going to be here, I was going to meet everyone. Very happy that we could get it done here while everyone’s here. We can talk about it and be happy. I mean, hopefully they’re as happy as I am. I mean, it’s going to be a special feeling just talking to them eye-to-eye instead of over the phone or anything like that. I’m very happy we could get it done here.
Q. You didn’t see them yet?
ERIK KARLSSON: I haven’t seen Bryan or Eugene yet. I’m going to meet them tonight and I’m sure it’s going to be welcoming from both sides.
Q. How does it feel to be here in Vegas at the NHL Awards for so a young player?
ERIK KARLSSON: Yeah, I mean, obviously I’m very happy that I’m here right now. It’s not something that I’ve counted on doing this early in my career. I’m very grateful to especially Ottawa for letting me be who I am, playing my game, developing into the kind of player I am today.
It has a lot to do with them, for what they’ve done to me ever since I came over.
Going to try to be here a few more times in my career hopefully. It’s just a special feeling seeing everything.
Q. You said something about expectations early on. With the new contract, how do you expect things will change?
ERIK KARLSSON: I mean, obviously it’s going to be higher expectations from everyone, especially from you guys. That’s the way it is. It’s something that comes with this work, something that I know about. It’s not something that’s kind of snuck up on me. I know how it works. I’m going to try to play my best every night.
It’s all I can do. I’m not happy with where I am today. I’m still trying to be a better hockey player. I’m becoming a better person as well.
I know Ottawa has all the capacity to help me be that guy. It’s going to be an exciting thing and something to look forward to.
Q. Are you excited to be here at the NHL Awards again?
ZDENO CHARA: Yeah, I’ve been in this position a number of times. It’s great to be nominated, but it’s even better if you win because you know how hard it is to get nominated.
If you can win it, it’s basically you finish the road and you go all the way. It is like if you make it to the Final, if you don’t win, it’s a big disappointment. On the other side, you are kind of happy that you made it all the way there. It would be really nice if this could be the year.
Q. Are you preparing in the off-season as though the season will start on time?
ZDENO CHARA: Yes. I’m trying to be in my best shape as possible; towards the end of September, I’ll see how it goes.
Obviously, you can be kind of calculating. You just have to be ready at that time when it comes and then we’ll see what happens.
Q. At this point do you have any thoughts on it?
ZDENO CHARA: I think it’s still pretty early at this point to be kind of calculating if something is going to happen. We’ll wait and see.
Q. What was your reaction when you heard Timmy’s decision?
ZDENO CHARA: I think surprise, surprise like everybody else. Obviously, he never mentioned anything to me or us as a team. But that’s his decision. He has to probably deal with it.
Q. Have you talked to him?
ZDENO CHARA: No, I haven’t. I’ve been busy right after the season. I think the announcement of him possibly not playing came out right after. I was traveling again. Went to Florida, spent some time with my family. Really tried to stay away from hockey.
I kind of sat back and relaxed and spent some time with my family.
Q. Any thought to trying to convince him to come back?
ZDENO CHARA: Well, I think he’s a mature person. When he said something, probably he stands behind it. If he changes his mind, then he changes his mind.
But it’s something that really you probably have to ask him, talk to him. We have to be ready with or without him.
Q. Question on Tuukka Rask….
ZDENO CHARA: Yeah, we all know he’s a really solid goalie. He had really a great year. He’s played extremely well. The last few years he’s just been dealing with some injuries. He didn’t have that many chances to play.
Now he’s going to be getting the chance. It’s going to be totally up to him. He’s showed before that he can be our number one goalie. Had a chance to play a few games last season. He played really well.
Q. Would you rather have your next contract done before next season starts or…
JONATHAN QUICK: That’s obviously a different side of the game. Right now, I know today it’s about the players here. Just trying to enjoy this for the next couple days.
Q. You have to be pretty excited about the future?
JONATHAN QUICK: Absolutely. You look around the locker room, you think about the guys (in there) everyone is fairly young. So you just hope and pray that everybody stays together and we keep this group together.
Q. What do you need to do to keep rolling right into the next season?
JONATHAN QUICK: I think you just go about it the same way you prepared last season. You’re not going to take as much time off the ice as you usually do. When the time is right, you start preparing as hard as you can, start fresh.
You put this season in the rearview mirror and start focusing on the next season.
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