To paraphrase an old Led Zeppelin classic:
“He comes from the land of the ice and snow,
from the midnight sun where the hot springs blow.
The hammer of the gods will drive his ship to new lands,
To fight the horde and sing and cry, America, I am coming!”
All jokes aside, Jhonas Enroth actually hails from Stockholm, Sweden.
Enroth is truly a modern day viking for all NHL intents and purposes, at least for the feverish way he’s been plundering pucks for the Buffalo Sabres lately.
In seven games played this year with Buffalo, he has 4 victories – and all of his victories, perhaps fitting to his Viking heritage – came on the road.
So far, his successful invasions of the 2010-11 season have included New York City, Montreal, Toronto, and St. Paul.
He plundered 104 pucks during those onslaughts. Perhaps more importantly, he has been able to serve as a more than capable backup netminder for Ryan Miller, and thereby has been a very big part of the Sabres’ surge into playoff contention this year.
After the OT win against Minnesota, Enroth revealed the softer side of the modern era Viking:
“It was pretty nice to get a goal in overtime and get out of it a little bit earlier … The guys are really helping me a lot. They’ve always been nice to me and work hard every game I play. I have a lot to thank the guys for that.”
The Sabres are lucky to have Enroth as an insurance policy as they head down the final stretch run of the regular season. He is a bit of a wild card, too – no, not for his ancestry, but for the simple fact that NHL players haven’t played against him enough to truly know the flaws of his game.
Other quick notes:
- Enroth backstopped Sweden to a silver medal at the 2008 World Junior Championships and posted a record of 4-1 in the tournament, with a 2.33 GAA and .905 save percentage. His only loss was a 3-2 OT decision against Team Canada in the gold medal game.
- He became the first goaltender in NHL history to have his first two career NHL victories come via shootout, after a 5-4 victory on 11/10/10 at New Jersey.
- He made 32 saves and stopped 7 of 10 shootout tries in the Sabres’ 3-2 victory over Montreal on 2/15/11 – a huge win for the playoff surge.
Back to the “Immigrant Song:”
“On we sweep with, with threshing oar (or sticks, I suppose)
Our only goal will be the Western Shore”
The West, eh? Fitting. That’s where Lord Stanley is currently camped out. Take up your forces, and go get him, Enroth.