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Henrik Lundqvist: Ring in New Year with a (Winter) Classic

Henrik Lundqvist

Henrik Lundqvist Credit: MSG Photos

It's hard to believe that in a few days we'll be stepping on the ice at Citizens Bank Park in Philly for the Winter Classic.

Pond hockey is where it all got started for most hockey players - for me, it's where I first decided to jump in goal and let my brother Joel shoot on me. So to be able to play an NHL game on an outdoor rink really takes me back.

The other day at practice, I started breaking in my new Winter Classic mask. I actually had two masks made so that one of them could be auctioned off to raise money for the Garden of Dreams Foundation, an organization very close to me that makes dreams come true for children facing obstacles.

People keep asking me what I think of HBO's "24/7" show, and I have to say that when I first found out that the cameras would be following us around literally all of the time, it was pretty scary to think about.

Now that the crew has been with us for a while, it's easy to forget they're even there. They're a great bunch of guys, and they really know how to let us focus on playing. It has been fun to see the personalities of guys come out - like Artie (Artem Anisimov), Boyler (Brian Boyle) and Prusty (Brandon Prust). Plus, I think it's cool for the fans to be able to see what goes on behind the scenes. We're a pretty tight group, which you can probably tell from the show. Overall, it's been a good experience, and it will be a nice thing to look back on for all of us.

Happy New Year to all - but especially all the Rangers fans. We hope to see a lot of you down in Philly on Jan. 2, cheering us on like we know you can!

Henrik Lundqvist plays goalie for the Rangers. The Dolan family owns a controlling interest in the Rangers, MSG and Cablevision, which owns amNewYork.

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