An article in Sweden’s Aftonbladet sports section (there’s some moon language there) on Henrik Lundqvist’s upcoming campaign with the New York Rangers led with the revelation that he’s taking weekly cortisone shots to deal with pain in his knees, and then spent the rest of the article saying, “No, no! I’m fine! Really!”
(As always, forgive my clumsy translation).
Henrik Lundqvist’s sore knees started at the end of last NHL season — and during the finals was growing in pain. The damage, in the ligaments, also gave him major problems during the World Cup in Canada this spring. The hope was that a long, quiet summer holidays would eliminate the problems.
But apparently, it has not been.
“It has not healed well as I had hoped,” revealed “Henke” when we met only three weeks before the season at the New York Rangers’ training facility north of Manhattan.
That’s bad news, especially because he’s taking cortisone to get over it rather than missing any time. The problem’s only going to get worse down the road. Lundqvist, though, says the knee always gives him trouble around this time (in the preseason!?).
A doctor named Björn Waldebäck treated Lundqvist during the World Cup. He told Aftonbladet that he believe’s Hank’s butterfly style is part of the problem here.
“Goalies now often go up and down several thousand times in one season. Of course, it is stressful for ligaments in the knees. A thought I have is that long-time goalkeepers can have more problems with the knees because the angles and thus burden is greater, but there is nothing I have for evidence,” says Björn Waldebäck.
If Lundqvist’s knee doesn’t hold up as well as he’d hoped, or if he gets injured, the Rangers are in a LOT of trouble and have no backup plan. They traded Al Montoya to the Coyotes at the deadline and their only other backup of note is Steve Valiquette. How fast can Miikka Wiikman get to the U.S.?
The article makes an interesting note, too. Lundqvist is one of only five Rangers remaining from the 2005-06 team. The others are Petr Prucha, Michal Roszival, Blair Betts and Marek Malik. That’s a LOT of turnover in just three seasons. They are also paying $20.1 million dollars to the trio of Scott Gomez, Chris Drury and Markus Naslund this year.