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“Your mindset is just to establish yourself, and fighting for your life almost every day and try to prove yourself because they don’t really know what I’ve done in Sweden for five years,” Lundqvist said. “They don’t really care what I’ve done. It’s about here and it’s about now.

“It probably took me a couple of years before I felt comfortable and I knew that I had my role here.”

He stood out right away to John Davidson, a former Rangers goalie who backstopped the team to the 1979 Stanley Cup finals and then became a television analyst from 1986-2006. He broadcast games throughout Richter’s entire career and into the early stages of Lundqvist‘s.

“I didn’t know a lot about him, but I remember when he came to the Rangers‘ practice facility,” said Davidson, now the president of hockey operations for the Columbus Blue Jackets. “I was standing on the glass the first day of camp, and I walked away three or four minutes after and I said, ‘There’s the goalie.’

“He was polished. His work habits were exceptional. He and Mike, the common denominator there is the ability to handle pressure and the ability to work hard.”