Henrik Lundqvist, at the Garden last night for the Knicks' 102-96 loss to the Celtics, was reminded of what he has been missing during the NHL lockout: the atmosphere of the arena and the energy of the crowd.

"You can feel the atmosphere and see it's a nice renovation here as well. I'm impressed," the Rangers goalie said during the third quarter as cheers roared in the background. "I can't wait to get out here and play and feel the excitement again."

With the NHL's collective bargaining agreement merely waiting to be ratified, Lundqvist and his teammates will start their delayed season soon.

"I think it's important, you go out with a mindset not to have any excuses for not being ready," Lundqvist said. "You just have to go out there and play really hard. The good thing for us, we have a lot of guys that played here last year. They know what to expect from the coaching staff.I think it's also important coming from a pretty good year last year and just the way we need to handle the pressure from the outside rolling inside the locker [room] in a good way."