The Monster's Olympic Debut
Given that the opponent for Sweden was Belarus, with all the haunting memories of Tommy Salo's infamous bobble eight years ago in Salt Lake City, it was a bit surprising today when Jonas (The Monster) Gustavsson got the start in goal for Tre Kronor.
It was the Maple Leaf goaltender's first Olympic start, and not surprisingly, he was nervous and had several trying moments in a 4-2 triumph for the Swedes to leave them unbeaten and untied after two games.
Gustavsson faced only 19 shots and was staked to a 3-0 lead before the Belarussians made things interesting with two goals by Dmitri Meleshko, one at 14:40 of the second with Gustavsson down in his crease and the other 1:33 into the third.
Soon after that, a shot by Konstantin Zakharov struck Gustavsson in the shoulder and glanced off the crossbar, staying out.
"Of course that's the sound you want to hear," said Gustavsson. "I'm not sure it would have gone in anyway because it hit my shoulder. . .but you don't want to give up that goal."
Sweden's No. 1 goalie, Henrik Lundqvist, started in his country's first game, a 2-0 win over Germany, but today was up in the stands doing colour commentary for Swedish national TV. Stefan Liv dressed as the backup to Gustavsson.
"It's tough to play against a team you're supposed to beat," said Gustavsson. "I don't think we struggled. We were in control."
Gustavsson has no illusions about challenging Lundqvist for the No. 1 role.
"Any role I get is fine," he said.