CATCHING UP WITH JHONAS ENROTH
Like many of his NHL counterparts, Sabres goaltender Jhonas Enroth is participating in the IIHF World Championship that’s currently taking place in Stockholm, Sweden, and Helsinki, Finland. Team Sweden occupies second place in the Stockholm pool with a record of 5-1-0 – with their only loss coming against the first-place Russian squad last Friday. Enroth has a record of 2-0-0 so far, with a 2.50 GAA and .868 save%. Sweden will close out the preliminary round on Tuesday with a game against Latvia at 2:15 p.m. ET. Medal round play begins on Thursday, with the bronze- and gold-medal games set for this Sunday at the Hartwall Areena in Helsinki.
Despite the hectic tournament schedule, Enroth took some time to answer a few questions for Kevin Snow of Sabres.com.
When was the last time you were able to play in front of your friends and family?
It’s been four years since I played at home, before I left Sweden for the USA. Since that time, my parents and brother have been over to Buffalo and Portland to watch me play though.
Do you feel any added pressure being in Stockholm?
Yes, this tournament is a very big deal over here. But I always think that it's a lot of fun to deal with pressure.
Do you feel more pressure playing for your country, or is this a more relaxed setting compared to NHL?
I think it's pretty much the same as being in the NHL. You want to win every game you play; it doesn't really matter what team you are playing for.
As a goalie, was there an adjustment process (playing angles, etc) in going from the NHL rinks to an international-sized rink?
Absolutely. It was a big difference at first, but I'm getting better at it now. This is the first time in four years for me to play on the bigger ice surface.
What teams have surprised you so far – if any?
Russia. We played them last week and we lost 7-3; Malkin had 6 points. I didn't play though because I've been sick. But Russia was looking really good.
This tournament doesn’t get much media attention in North America- how important is it in Sweden?
It’s a huge tournament for Europeans. It’s something everyone grew up watching, so it's a lot of fun being able to play in it now.