At the end of his last season with the Canadian organization, Charlie Lindgren needed a change of scenery. His career was headed for a dead end. The good news is that he is now blissfully happy with the St. Louis Blues.
During a telephone interview with the TrunkLindgren returned to the reasons for the end of his association with the Habs.
“I had kind of hit a wall during my last season when I was with the Rockets,” the 28-year-old explained. I needed a fresh start.
“During my years with the Canadian organization, I had ups and downs. It was a continuous battle. »
Lindgren was patient but never felt that he was part of the organization’s plans.
“Every time the Canadiens called me up, I always felt like I was playing well,” he added. I have often been put in difficult situations.
“Every time I thought I was going to settle into the NHL permanently, the Canadiens were looking for an experienced goalie on the free-agent market. »
During his time with the Habs, general manager Marc Bergevin hired Jake Allen, Al Montoya, Antti Niemi, and Keith Kinkaid to back up Carey Price.
Last season, it was Cayden Primeau who was called up and not him. From then on, his days in the Montreal organization were numbered.
During the Canadiens’ run to the Stanley Cup Finals last year, Lindgren found himself on the reserve team.
“It was very frustrating,” he said. I took the position of the third goalkeeper and did not have the opportunity to play games. It was very difficult mentally. »
Things weren’t much better at Laval.
“With the Rocket, when Joël Bouchard was the head coach, we were getting about twenty shots a game. It’s not always easy for a goalkeeper, especially when you’re used to receiving 30 or 40 per game.
“It’s when you feel the record that you can be at your best. »
A timely offer
Last summer, he signed a two-way deal with the St. Louis Blues. Despite spending most of this AHL season with Springfield, Lindgren has found his guidance and smiles at him.
“I just had one of the best seasons of my career,” he explained. Joining the Blues organization has been a blessing.
“I didn’t attack the season to prove something. I concentrated on my work. I had a great season. »
With the Thunderbirds, he went 24-7-1 with a 2.21 GAA and a .925 save percentage. In the NHL, he made five starts for the Blues, going 5-0 with a 1.22 GAA and a .958 save percentage.
“I still think of myself as an NHL goalie, but the Canadiens didn’t see me in that role. If I save the net in our series against the Rocket [à compter de samedi]I will not hold a grudge against my old organization. I will be competitive and nothing more.
“Anyway, there have been several changes in management and training over the past year. »
He was rewarded handsomely during the NHL playoffs when the Blues called him up after Craig Binnington’s injury. An incredible experience that will serve as motivation for the next season.
Towards a duel against Primeau?
It is not yet known who, Charlie Lindgren or Joel Hofer, will be in front of the cage for the Thunderbirds for the start of the series against the Laval Rocket.
A duel between Lindgren and Cayden Primeau would be very interesting to follow.
“I don’t see this as a matchup between myself and Cayden, but between Springfield and Laval,” Lindgren said. It is a team sport.
“We are two competitors and we want to win. All we want is to help our team reach the final of the Calder Cup. »
The veteran had a good relationship with Primeau when he shared a network with the Rocket.
“It was clear that Cayden was a player in whom the Canadian organization had high hopes. Cayden has enormous potential and is a very good person off the ice.
“I only have good things to say about him. »
It is the same for his former goalkeeping coach at Laval Marco Marciano.
“I am a great admirer of Marco. He has been very good to me. He kept me motivated even in the most difficult moments. »
With their regular season and playoff success, the Thunderbirds might be underestimating the Rocket. However, this is not the case.
“It’s going to be a great series,” Lindgren said. Laval is playing with intensity and each team is having success at home. It will be super exciting.
“We respect the Rocket. It is very good training. It is an important series for me and my team. »
The Thunderbirds have a strong goalkeeping duo with him and Hofer. Jean-François Houle’s company will have a lot to do to break its wall.
Hofer has a similar profile to Primeau, according to Lindgren.
“He’s a great young goalie. He’s very talented. When he was with the Blues, he played well against Charlotte in the last round.
“I have the same kind of relationship with him that I had with Cayden. They are both very good people. »