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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Henrik Lundqvist Post-game Video Interview + Notes


Henrik Lundqvist made 26 saves to record his fifth win of the season. As of the conclusion of tonight’s game, the Rangers’ all-time wins and shutouts leader is tied for third in the NHL in wins this season. Lundqvist appeared in his 582nd game as a Ranger tonight, tying Gump Worsley for second on the team’s all-time appearances list.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Photos of Henrik Lundqvist at Gotham Magazine Cover Party/Henrik Lundqvist Foundation Auction


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Henrik Lundqvist Post-Game Video Interview + Notes


Henrik Lundqvist made 28 saves to record his fourth win of the season and extend his winning streak to three games. As of the conclusion of tonight’s game, Lundqvist is tied for second in the NHL in wins this season. Lundqvist has posted a 1.28 GAA, a .957 SV% (90 saves on 94 shots), and 1 SO over the last three games. The Rangers’ all-time wins and shutouts leader has appeared in more regular season games (51) and recorded more regular season wins (31) against the Devils than against any NHL opponent.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

See a Picture of Henrik Lundqvist in a Flyers Jersey?!


Got you! Well, he is wearing a Flyers jersey. Just not the one you thought. This picture, along with the ones below, can be found  on Expressen's website. They're from a "How much do you know about Henrik Lundqvist?" quiz. It's entirely in Swedish, so if you don't speak/understand that, you'll have to use Google translate if you want to test your knowledge. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Henrik Lundqvist Post-Game Video Interview + Notes


Henrik Lundqvist made 33 saves to record his first shutout of the season and the 51st of his NHL career. With the shutout, Lundqvist passed Chris Osgood on the NHL’s all-time list, and tied Curtis Joseph, Rogie Vachon, Tomas Vokoun, and Dave Kerr for 22nd on the NHL’s all-time shutouts list. The Rangers’ all-time wins and shutouts leader has posted a 2-0-0 record with a 0.48 GAA, a .984 SV% (62 saves on 63 shots), and 1 SO in his last two games, and is 2-1-0 with a 1.20 GAA, a .962 SV%, and 1 SO in four career appearances against San Jose at MSG.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

See an Adorable Photo of Henrik Lundqvist, Dan Girardi and Marc Staal Pumpkin Picking With Their Families


Twitter user @abrezacNYR tweeted the above pictures out today. He happened to be pumpkin picking at the same patch as the three longest tenured Rangers and their families.     
How cool (and lucky!) is that?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Enter New Contest to Meet Henrik Lundqvist!


Click here to enter!

Good luck!

Henrik Lundqvist on the Cover of the November Issue of King Magazine of Sweden


From King Magazine:

The King # 11 we fly to New York and visit the home of Henke Lundqvist. Sweden's biggest hockey star talks square foot prices in Manhattan, credit card roulette and what kind of underwear he actually wears during all goalie protection .

I doubt this interview and its accompanying photos will be posted on King's website, so I must ask if one of my Swedish readers could buy me this magazine and ship it to me in NYC. I can pay you through PayPal ASAP and give you credit when I post it to the blog. It sounds and looks like a good read!

HQ Henrik Lundqvist Bread & Boxers Ad Campaign Photos


Henrik Lundqvist Post-Game Video Interview


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Henrik Lundqvist Post-Game Video Interview


Friday, October 10, 2014

Henrik Lundqvist Post-Game Video Interview


Thursday, October 9, 2014

It's Not Fame or Fortune That Drives Henrik Lundqvist


By Larry Brooks

ST. LOUIS — His is the name above the marquee and his is the face of the Rangers’ franchise even if it’s hidden by a mask. He is the one who appears on Dave Letterman’s show and he is the one who plays tennis with Novak Djokovic and jams with John McEnroe.
And yet, first and foremost, Henrik Lundqvist is a hockey player…a goaltender…never more in his element than when he’s in his gear, at a rink, as he and his teammates will be here on Thursday night when the Blueshirts open this season of great expectations against the Blues.
He never forgets it, does this Swedish native son who has been adopted as New York’s favorite son.
“All the things that come with playing for the Rangers, all the things that come with having some success, they’re great, I appreciate them and I try to take advantage of them when I can, but this is who I am,” Lundqvist told The Post following Monday’s practice. “This is such a big part of my life that when I’m not playing, I miss it.
“And this year, even though the summer was shorter, I missed it more than ever. You need some time to get away, and definitely after the way last season ended, but I couldn’t wait to get back. And from talking to the guys, I think we all have had that same feeling.”Wh
Lundqvist’s profile has never been higher and the expectations greeting the Rangers haven’t been higher in two decades. The Rangers are New York’s best team, still riding the wave they rode to the Cup final, determined to write a much better Hollywood ending to the script this time around.

Out of the devastation of defeat in a Game 5 clincher following which Lundqvist and up to a dozen of his teammates were still in their gear 45 minutes after Alec Martinez’s rebound goal sent the Rangers home in pumpkins rather than chariots, out of the despair that lingered for weeks, comes resolve.
“It hurt, of course it hurt, but at some point you have to let it go,” Lundqvist said. “You have to move on. You don’t look back. You go forward.”
Forward the Blueshirts march into 2014-15 with an intact core that has achieved a reasonable amount of success. Understand this: The Rangers do not consider themselves party crashers or outliers. Over the last three postseasons, only they and the Kings have won at least one round each year. Over the last three years, the Kings have won 10 series, the Rangers and Blackhawks six apiece.
“I think from what we’ve done, the series we’ve won, the number of playoff games we’ve played [57, second to LA’s 64], we should have high expectations of ourselves,” Lundqvist said. “I think if you look at the top teams — Boston, Chicago and LA — you see that their players demand a lot of themselves and of each other.
“That’s the way it is here. Of course I’m putting pressure on myself, but it’s not just me. It’s the group,” the goaltender said. “We’re not here just to be here and we’re not here just to have a good season. That’s not enough.”

Heroic in defeat last June, Lundqvist returned to Sweden for about two months. But he never lost touch with his guys in New York. In August, while at a Mets game, I asked Matt Harvey if he’d kept up on the Rangers’ offseason. “No, but I talked to Hank last week,” he said.
A few days later, I was at Yankee Stadium when the Tigers came in. I asked former Yankee Joba Chamberlain, a big-time Blueshirts fan, if he’d changed his hockey allegiance to the Red Wings. “No way,” he said. “Hey, I talked to Hank last week.”
Lundqvist laughed when told the tale.
“Joba had a good year, didn’t he?” Lundqvist said. Well, yes — up to the playoffs.
“This summer was good,” The King said. “I’ve gotten to do a lot of different things because of the success I’ve had and we’ve had as a team, but it’s all based on that. I understand that.
“I’ve had more opportunities over the last five years, it’s different than before that. Even the last two years, it’s different. But for me now, when I’m away from the rink, I spend so much of my time doing family things,” said Lundqvist, who is married with a two-year-old daughter. “I make sure not to do so much that it ever becomes a burden or takes away from my hockey.
“Because that’s the focus. Hockey and winning. Yep, hockey and winning.”

New Henrik Lundqvist Roundtable Chat With Sidney Crosby and Jonathan Toews


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

On and Off the Ice, Henrik Lundqvist Is Ready to Run this Town (NY Observer Article + Photos)


By Rafi Kohan

The worst part about owning a sports car in the city, Henrik Lundqvist tells me, as we turn onto the Westside Highway in his Porsche Panamera 4S, is being in the city. “It’s absolutely useless,” he says, clicking off the radio and merging into the leftmost lane. “The streets are awful.”

Thankfully, we are heading away from Manhattan’s asphalt maze and up to the New York Rangers’ training facility, just off the Saw Mill River Parkway. The All-Star goaltender knows this winding stretch of road like the back of his puck-beaten hands.

During the season, Lundqvist is up at the facility almost every day. In that sense, although it is only August, he’s in mid-season form: having returned from an annual summer vacation in his native Sweden only six days earlier, the Rangers’ all-time leader in both wins and shutouts has already been spending large chunks of time at the facility, participating in unofficial practice sessions with a handful of equally eager teammates, like Martin St. Louis, Mats Zuccarello and Dan Boyle.

These weeks leading up to the start of training camp are meant to be downtime. On the heels of carrying the Rangers to their first Stanley Cup Finals appearance in two decades, Lundqvist knows expectations will be as high as the championship banners that hang in the Madison Square Garden rafters when the new NHL season drops its first puck. And yet: the days are just packed.

After today’s skate, Lundqvist has a photo shoot downtown and then plans to attend his buddy Roger Federer’s nighttime match at the U.S. Open. Since returning to NYC, he has already presided over a full-day hockey camp for kids at Chelsea Piers and competed in a charity tennis event, along with Edward Norton, Novak Djokovic and John McEnroe, who is also in Lundqvist’s band (Lundqvist and McEnroe both play guitar in surprisingly able pop metal band The Noise Upstairs). New York Fashion Week, where Lundqvist, a noted clothes-horse, always seems to make an appearance, starts the following week. And then there is the official kickoff event for the Henrik Lundqvist Foundation on September 15.

This is downtime? “Yeah, I have a lot going on,” he shrugs. Aside from the occasional yawn, however—a byproduct of adjusting to the time change (and a 2-year-old child adjusting to the time change)—Lundqvist seems fully refreshed after his most physically and emotionally taxing season to date, which left him face down on the ice after a double-overtime loss to the L.A. Kings.

It’s no wonder Lundqvist needed two months on the Swedish coast to clear his head and put last season into perspective. But even without the calming effects of the North Sea, the 32-year-old Lundqvist, a professed car guy, manages to find peace—and this is it, this road, this drive, cruising up the Saw Mill River Parkway.

“I enjoy driving. It’s relaxing,” says Lundqvist, who rotates through a stable of four high-performance vehicles. (The Porsche is his “family car,” with a baby carrier strapped to the backseat.) “It’s like a time during the day when you just reflect a lot, thinking about last night, the game, or what’s going to happen during the day, the next day. Just thinking about a lot of different things, because you are surrounded by a lot of people a lot of the time, teammates or people around the team or fans or whoever it might be.”

Like a stranger riding shotgun, I suggest? “Hah, yeah,” he laughs, punching the gas, as we steer toward our exit. “During the season I might not do this, but now, it’s fine.


The man nicknamed King Henrik eventually finds some solitude when he steps onto the ice, around 10:30 a.m., several minutes ahead of the eight other players here for this voluntary skate.

With the practice rink to himself, the goalie glides around what will become his defending zone, crouching, stretching, running through footwork in the crease. Behind his pads, Lundqvist looks huge, like a boxy Transformer strapped to metal blades. He’s wearing the usual goalie gear, of course, but it is still such a dramatic transformation from the man I first met in the locker room at Chelsea Piers two days earlier, as he changed out of his street clothes, revealing a sinewy build that explains his cat-like handiwork with a glove and blocker, but is still hard to reconcile with this bulky on-ice persona, like a tiny mollusk in a giant shell.

It should not come as a surprise that Lundqvist is the first to hit the ice. As he puts it, all NHL goalies compete in a team sport, but they also participate in “an individual sport within that sport.” Lundqvist embraces that burden. “You’re on your own,” he says.

The key is proper preparation. Lundqvist has had the same pre-game routines throughout his career, from when he naps to what he eats to how he wraps tape to the American pop-punk that was once so popular in Sweden and is now immortalized on his adrenaline-pumping playlist (Blink 182 and Sum 41 are in heavy rotation). “I’m a pretty intense guy when it comes to the game,” he says. “If I don’t prepare, I don’t have the same focus. And at this level, the difference will be how you focus, how you block things out, how you handle pressure.”

The pressure soon mounts for Lundqvist as the skaters take the ice and start whipping wristers on net. Next, the goalie shouts instructions for a passing drill that results in breakaway attempts. There are nonstop shots, while an orchestra of hockey sounds fills the room—the scratch of skates, the whomp of vulcanized rubber hitting the boards. Lundqvist alternately stands tall and hunches over as the plays develop, resting his hands on his knees. In an instant, he collapses into his crouch, ready to make the save.

“That’s not reflex. That’s awareness and reading. You see the guy coming down with the puck, then you analyze. Is he going to shoot? Probably not. It’s a bad angle. As a goalie, you analyze situations all the time. You look around a lot.”

Sure enough, Lundqvist keeps his head on a swivel at the practice rink, his eyes bulging through the gaps in his facemask. While a few players glance over at me, out of curiosity—I am the only spectator—Lundqvist does not. He is zoned in, as committed to keeping pucks out of net as he will be at the home opener, even though there are no defensemen helping his cause.

Occasionally a puck squeaks through, like when Zuccarello shows off a particularly fancy backhand. But this is the exception, and the players know it, as evidenced by the left-winger pumping his fist in celebration, while raising up on one skate. Lundqvist fumes, rolling his head back in exasperation. On another goal, he screams, “Fuck!” On a third, he slams his stick over the crossbar.

In this way, even the greatest goalies seem to be defined by their lower moments rather than the highlights. If you make an amazing save, as Lundqvist does countless times during practice, jockeying from post to post, play simply goes on. It’s only upon failure that the game is punctuated with a full stop and we reflect.

I ask Lundqvist whether he hates losing more than he loves winning, which would be a true New York attitude. “Hmm,” he says, considering the question. “It’s a fine line. I really hate losing. I get extremely upset after losses, even in the regular season. But the feeling when you win some big games, it’s so rewarding. I don’t know. It’s almost like 50-50.”


The New York Rangers chanced into their franchise goaltender in the 2000 NHL Draft. As the rounds ticked by, an 18-year-old Lundqvist watched his name slip down the board. Hardly anyone saw much of a future for the kid. Selected in the seventh round at pick No. 205, he wasn’t the first goalie drafted or the first Ranger. He wasn’t even the first goalie taken by the Rangers. Hell, he wasn’t even the first Lundqvist off the board. (His twin brother, Joel, went in the third round to Dallas.)

It was only when then-Assistant GM Don Maloney caught a glimpse of the notebook of the team’s top European scout—maybe the only Lundqvist supporter—that the Blueshirts’ brass relented and called his name, despite the refusal of other scouts to co-sign the pick, insisting he lacked consistency.

Destined for Broadway, young Henrik (or Hank, as friends call him) honed his craft with Frölunda, a Swedish hockey club, while waiting for a call from the big club. There, he earned the Honken Trophy, awarded to Sweden’s top goalie, three consecutive years, including his final season, which coincided with the 2004-2005 work stoppage, when Lundqvist bested locked-out NHL goalies that found work overseas. “I knew then I could compete on a big rink,” he says. “The question was how I would adjust to smaller rinks. It’s a faster game here.”

From an outsider’s view, the transition was seamless. In October 2005, the rookie made his NHL debut and won over Rangers fans immediately, earning 30 wins in only 53 games played, while leading the team to its first postseason berth since 1996-1997. A few months after his debut, Lundqvist manned the net as the Swedish hockey team won gold at the 2006 Winter Olympics, proving he could shine on the biggest stage.

Lundqvist credits Rangers goalie coach Benoit Allaire for changing his style of play, instructing him to stand deeper in the crease, with fewer movements and a higher stance. He has also labored to improve his puck-handling. But for all the tweaks, he’s remained steady.

Lundqvist has won at least 30 games in eight of his first nine seasons, an NHL record. He holds the second-best save percentage of all time, behind Dominik Hasek, has earned three All-Star Game appearances and won the prestigious Vezina Trophy, which is given to the league’s best goalie, for 2011-2012.

That season is widely regarded as the year Lundqvist ascended to the NHL’s top tier. He gave up less than two goals per game and posted a career-high save percentage, en route to the team’s first Conference Finals appearance in more than a decade. Lundqvist lost 13 pounds and trained harder than ever during the preceding off-season, but he disagrees that he somehow became “elite” overnight.

“I’ve always been working really hard,” he says. “You don’t just wake up one day and your feet are moving faster. It can be confidence, the way the team is playing—there are so many small things that, in the big picture, all play their part.”

So it all just clicked? “Well, I feel like I’ve been pretty consistent since I got here,” he replies. And he’s right. Whatever worries scouts may have harbored in 2000, steadiness and reliability have become trademarks of the Lundqvist era.


But that’s what makes the start of last season so perplexing. For the first 40 or so games, the Rangers hovered around .500 as they adjusted to head coach Alain Vigneault’s new system, and their stalwart netminder allowed close to three goals a game—unthinkable. “It was tough,” Lundqvist tells me, “probably my toughest period as a pro.”

Also hanging overhead was the prospect of the Swedish star becoming a free agent after the season. “Do I think the contract situation played a little part?” he says. “Yeah, probably. I had the expectation that we’d have it done early and it didn’t happen. It’s not like you walk around and think about it, but if there’s a couple percent of your thinking somewhere else, that can be the difference between losing and winning.”

At the beginning of December, the two sides finally agreed on a seven-year extension that will assuredly make Lundqvist a Ranger for life. Not long after, the team started winning. Over the second half of the season, the Blueshirts posted a 25-12-4 record and earned the Eastern Conference’s fifth seed.

Though he still occasionally grinds his teeth at night, a stress-related habit that has resulted in vision-blurring migraines—“you wake up and it feels like you’ve been run over by a bus”—Lundqvist embraces the big-game pressure of postseason play. “You’re more nervous,” he says. “Sometimes you don’t feel great, but that’s what makes it so special.”

Unfortunately, the results have not always been kind to the King. Entering the team’s first round matchup last spring, Lundqvist’s postseason record stood at 30-37, and recent disappointing playoff exits were fresh in fans’ minds.

Once again, the Rangers almost bowed out early, pushed to the brink by both Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, who at one point held a commanding 3-1 series lead. The Rangers bounced back in both series, with Lundqvist giving up only one goal apiece to Philly and Pittsburgh in crucial seventh games. Facing Montreal in the Eastern Conference Finals, a magical feeling started to set in, as the team took its own 3-1 lead and Lundqvist won his first games at Bell Centre in more than five years. Perhaps things were meant to be.

And then again, perhaps not. In Game 5, the Rangers gave up seven goals and Lundqvist got pulled, sparking heated conversations across the sports talk-radio dial. In the waning moments before Game 6, the Rangers’ only chance to win the series on home ice, ESPN Radio’s Alan Hahn laid out the situation: “This is his legacy game,” the host said of Lundqvist. “Whatever happens after this, well, we can talk about that next week. But right now, right here, this moment, this is his—this is his history.”

At the Garden, Lundqvist, who stood to become the team’s all-time leader in playoff wins, tuned out the noise, finding comfort in his routines—in his music, his stretching, his athletic tape—ignoring everyone around him, including his teammates. “It’s never a fun feeling being pulled,” he says. “But going into the next game, you try to be even more focused—focus as small as possible—and try not to think about consequences, what-ifs.”

When the puck dropped, Lundqvist played like a man possessed, stopping every shot he faced until the final horn sounded. With a 1-0 victory, the Rangers were heading to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Spoiler alert: The Rangers did not hoist the trophy last spring. Instead, they fell to the high-powered Kings in five not-so-short games. (Three went to overtime, including two to double OT.) It was one of the most entertaining playoff series hockey has ever seen, and Lundqvist did all he could, as his team was outshot 92 to 49 over the final two contests.

In the end, the lasting image was not of the Kings raising their arms in celebration after Alec Martinez’s Cup-clinching double-overtime goal, but of Lundqvist, the King, collapsing to the ice, sprawled across the crease, like a facedown snow angel. He soon climbed to his knees, but stayed like that, dazed, head tilted back, as the L.A. players mobbed one another within a stick’s reach. The contrast in emotion was enough to inspire a photo essay on Deadspin.

On the ride back to Manhattan, I ask Lundqvist what was going through his head at that moment, when the puck hit the back of the net. “When everything is over, it’s a weird, empty feeling,” he says, rolling up his sleeves to reveal a forearm tattoo of his daughter’s name, Charlise. “It’s like you have this big balloon that’s about to burst, and then”—he makes an exploding sound, then sighs. “I don’t know. That moment, you start to feel how tired you really are.”

And, yes, in case you’re wondering, he’s seen the footage. “It’s painful to watch,” he says. “It really is, because you go through it again. It’s heartbreaking when you’re that close.” Lundqvist pauses. He seems to become wistful, perhaps replaying one of his team’s few scoring opportunities from that game in his mind’s eye, as he has throughout the summer. “We were right there with them,” he continues. “It’s just the puck kept hitting the post.”

Unlike 2012, when the Rangers lost to Martin Brodeur’s Devils in the Eastern Conference Finals, Lundqvist says there are no lingering regrets in the locker room. “When we lost to the Devils, it was disappointing to feel like we didn’t reach our top potential, like we had more to give,” he explains. “We talked about it going into the playoffs. You want to make sure you leave everything out there, and I felt like we left it all out there. Unfortunately, it was not enough.”


Even before last season’s unlikely run, Lundqvist’s place as a cornerstone New York sports figure was secure. The modern Mount Rushmore would feature him, Carmelo Anthony, a retiring Derek Jeter and a resurgent Eli Manning. Some have even argued—ESPN’s Ian O’Connor, most recently—that he should have the damn mountain to himself, as the city’s top athlete.

Lundqvist’s name has also found its way into conversations about all-time off-field icons like Walt Frazier and Joe Namath. A co-owner of Tiny’s & the Bar Upstairs, a Tribeca establishment, Lundqvist has been called a “hair god” by GQ, featured in Vogue and received multiple inclusions on Vanity Fair’s best-dressed list. On nights off, MSG regulars can spot him courtside, next to the likes of Justin Bieber, who Lundqvist comforted when the pop star was booed by Knicks fans.

And yet this man about town floats through the city relatively unmolested, rarely recognized. “It’s pretty relaxing,” he says, leaning on the horn when the car in front of us fails to turn left, back into the Manhattan grid, when the light goes green. “You can go out for dinner, go out with friends. You feel like you can be yourself. I can tell a difference now from four or five years ago, more people. But I think it’s still at a very good level.”

Should Lundqvist ever lift the Cup, he understands that will all change. Even non-hockey fans will know the face of King Henrik, the man behind the mask. It’s a tradeoff he’s willing to make, of course. That’s why he puts in the extra work in August. It’s why his teammates know to steer clear of his stall before a game. It’s why he was so crushed when a rebounding puck found the stick of Alec Martinez.

“That’s why you play, you want to win,” he says, pulling into his parking garage in Hell’s Kitchen. “I have a great life, doing something I love to do. But to really appreciate everything, you need to win games.”

Lundqvist kills the engine and starts walking north, past a Mexican grill and an eyebrow-threading salon, disappearing into the city in which he has spent the majority of his adult life—the city that, he hopes, will one day litter lower Broadway with confetti in his honor. Until then, he waits, just another guy on the street, honking at green lights.


New Henrik Lundqvist NHL Network in Conversation Video Interview


Henrik Lundqvist Post-Practice Video Interview


Monday, October 6, 2014

New Henrik Lundqvist Swedish Video Interview


Saturday, October 4, 2014

Henrik Lundqvist Post-Game Video Interview


Friday, October 3, 2014

Derek Jeter Inspires Henrik Lundqvist


Over his 20 years in Major League Baseball, Derek Jeter made an impact not only on baseball, but on New York and the sports scene in general.
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning has often told of how Jeter mentored him in a way when Eli struggled after being drafted by the Giants in 2001, and the dozens of farewell tributes from athletes of all walks and in all cities Jeter received over the last few weeks show just what an impact he has had on everyone.

That list was added to on Monday, with props this time coming from a man who himself was quickly thrust into the middle of the Big Apple's brightest lights a decade ago, but did so coming from a overseas and knowing little of The Captain and his legacy.

"It was cool to come here, not being used to baseball, and see how much of an impact he has had on the game and the people of this city," New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist told YES Network's Seth Rothman Monday after the Blueshirts' preseason victory over the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden. "I think he's been an inspiration for me and probably a lot of athletes in New York, to see how he came in and handled everything, on and off the field."

Lundqvist has been referred to colloquially as "King Henrik" throughout his career, and after helping lead the Rangers to the Stanley Cup Finals last season, he, along with two-time Super Bowl Champion Manning among others, is one who may be on the precipice of "replacing" Jeter as the face of New York sports.

But to the All-Star net-minder, as much as he could try to emulate the way Jeter handled himself, The Captain's shoes aren't that easily fillable.

"He's a true class act, and at the level he's been at for so many years, that's impressive," Lundqvist said. "(Jeter's retirement is) going to leave a big hole I think, but (he has) been fun to watch."