Montreal – – Team Sweden is very talented. They’re focused on winning it all. This instantly puts a ton of pressure on Flyers draft pick, Felix Sandstrom. In a recent 8-3 win over Slovakia, Sandstrom had some shaky moments. Even though Sandstrom was a bit scrambly and had trouble with shots in traffic he started that game against Slovakia strong and ended it that way too.
“It was kind of a tough game,” Sandstrom admitted. “It came hard when it came. Then there were times I didn’t have to do that much. I wasn’t worried. I know we’re a good team.”
In my opinion, Sandstrom is the second best netminder currently playing. I think Carter Hart should be playing as well but that’s another argument for another day. What sets Sandstrom apart is his quick lateral movement. In Flyers rookie camp he was faster than Hart and Matej Tomek, who is a member of the Slovakian squad.
Sandstrom’s greatest quality is being able to analyze his game honestly, fix the mistakes, but not beat himself up about it. He’s not a hot-tempered backstop and he does keep things very calm out there for his teammates and in return they feel very confident when he’s between the pipes. Even if he doesn’t face a lot of shots he’ll be mentally prepared for when he does.
“Might be tougher than to have regular shots on you. It’s something you have to handle. You have to win those games too. I think I played ok. I wasn’t great. I think I did make some nice saves. I think we played good and deserved that win.”
Flyers GM Ron Hextall was in the stands watching his prospect play and looked pretty stoic when the TSN cameras noticed him. With that said I’d have to believe he’s liked what he’s seen so far.
Slovakia played a tough game. Tough enough to make that a great game for Sandstrom to get ready to play Canada. Canada hasn’t faced Sweden in a medal game since 2009. The Swede wants to make this one memorable.
“A couple of tough situations is good. The next game will be a tough game,” Sandstrom added. “I’m ready. It will be fun to play with a higher pace and more shots.”
At 6-2 he covers a lot of net. His current .932 save percentage says a lot about his play in this tournament.