Once it starts rolling downhill it's very hard to put the brakes on and no one can attest to that more right now than Henrik Lundqvist (via New York Post)…
“The biggest thing for me now is to believe in what I do and to stay confident,” Lundqvist said. “Confidence is such an important thing in this game and right now it is not very high.”
…at this point I've got to assume this is all in Lundqvist's head. There's nothing more important to a goaltender's success than confidence. Once that begins to falter, the rest your game falls apart.
…i hate to use myself as an example, but I went through similar adversity while playing lacrosse in college. After success my freshman and sophomore seasons, I began to struggle in exhibition games my junior year and my confidence waivered. Once the season started, soft goals became commonplace as well as criticisms from my coach which ultimately led to some playing time for my backup. In the previous two seasons (as well as in high school) I had supreme confidence in my ability. I couldn't wait for the opponent to take the next shot because I knew I'd save it. Now, I became nervous the second the opponent came over the midfield line as I was afraid to fail. Things got even worse when I began tinkering with my mechanics to compensate and completely destroyed my game.
…so how did I get out of my funk? While talking to a teammate after the season, they mentioned that it didn't seem like I was having any fun. That I wasn't enjoying the game I loved anymore. And he was right. I went home that summer watched some old game tape of high school and was startled by how much more energetic and excited I was. From that point on I decided to forget about all the other distractions and just have fun. And do you know what, my senior season was the most successful in the program's history as well as my own.
…so my advice to Henrik Lundqvist, hell, to the entire Rangers team,…just start have fun again and everything else will fall into place. When you look at these guys in the post game press conferences, they sound like me talking about my crappy job. I mean, goodness, they get paid to play hockey. Cheer up. They need to find their passion for the game again. These guys are in the NHL for a reason. Because they're all really good at playing hockey. Ok, maybe not Pyatt and Pouliot, but you guys get my point. Once they hopefully get their heads straightened out the season should too.
Alain Vigneault reported today that Lundqvist will again be between the pipes on Sunday against the Flames.