With Olympic projections picking up steam across the hockey world, it seems certain that the Sens will be well represented on the international stage (assuming NHLers are able to play).
Let's assume that they do go. Team Sweden should have a fairly Sens-heavy roster with the likes of Erik Karlsson, Jakob Silfverberg and potentially Daniel Alfredsson who you would presume are all locks. Mika Zibanejad could very well have played his way into the discussion with his development this year and it looks like Robin Lehner will also be in the mix to join the team.
Swedish National Team coach Pär Mårts was at the Sens' game in Philadelphia last night and spoke to Robin while he was there. It was the 21-year-old's first time meeting the national team's bench boss, despite their efforts to get a hold of him for some time. Apparently there was some confusion over how you spell 'Robin'.
"It was the first time I had met him actually. They had been trying to send some e-mails to me but they spelled my name wrong. It's always great seeing some Swedes, but that's not my focus right now."
Obviously Robin is a little busy playing hockey to think this far ahead, but we're not, so let's run with it.
It goes without saying that Henrik Lundqvist is the guy for Sweden barring a catastrophe. Behind him, however, the door is open. Among the players fighting for the job will be Anaheim's Viktor Fasth, Buffalo's Jhonas Enroth, Detroit's Jonas Gustavsson, Florida's Jakob Markstrom and, presumably, Lehner.
While many of those players are currently bigger names than Lehner, he has actually put up the best numbers of the bunch. Lehner's save percentage currently stands as the highest of any Swedish goalie ever (including Lundqvist) in what is a relatively small sample size (24 games).
If you were to make odds on who suits up in 2014 behind Henrik, Fasth of the Ducks is your likely leader. Fasth has had a great season in Anaheim but he is also nine years Lehner's senior and it remains to be seen if he can do it again. That's not to say he can't, but the book on you gets thicker with every game and he has played the same amount of NHL hockey at 30 that Lehner has at 21.
From an international play perspective, Lehner is a vet when it comes to wearing the Tre Kronor. While he hasn't played for the senior team quite yet, it should be something he'll cross off the proverbial bucket list sooner rather than later. Ideally, though, the Sens will be in the thick of a playoff run before a World Championship call comes.
"I've been in the Swedish national team since I was 15, twice at the World Juniors, I've just never been on the A-team. It's nice that they're looking at me. They're looking at all of us."
Well, if they're still on the fence after last night's one goal performance, there's a handful of clips that ought to cement it. Hope you got his real e-mail address.
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