New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist spent the majority of the 2017-18 campaign battling a left knee injury, the 13-year veteran said Tuesday as the team cleared out its lockers for the offseason.
Lundqvist, 36, told reporters he hurt his left knee when he “got bumped into” in late October or November and the issue has bugged him since.
“It was something I had to deal with, but it’s not affecting my play,” he said “But it’s something that, when every day you have to look after it, it’s not ideal.”
Lundqvist played more minutes (3,503) than he did in each of the last three seasons but posted a career-worst 2.98 goals against average — half a goal more than his previous high in a season — and a .915 save percentage, his third-worst single-season mark. He finished 26-26-7 as a starter, easily his worst as a pro.
The two-time All-Star and 2011-12 Vezina Trophy-winner suffered a Grade 1 sprain of the medial collateral ligament in the same knee at the World Championships last summer, but he played through the injury and helped Sweden win the gold medal.
He said Tuesday that he had returned to full strength before the start of the NHL season, before he hurt the knee again early in the season.
“It’s been under control, but it’s definitely something I need to address now,” Lundqvist said. “I’ll meet with the doctors here, then [in the] next couple days, [have an] MRI, and make sure I do all the right things to be 100 percent when I start my training, preparation for next season.”
Lundqvist said he has not yet decided if he will play in the World Championships this summer, with his physical health and mental fatigue both factoring in. That said, he is fully invested in getting ready for his 14th NHL season next year.
“We all know there’s going to be some changes over the summer,” he said. “Part of me is a little excited about what’s ahead. I hope we take some good steps in the right direction.”
–Field Level Media