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03-29-2005, 06:01 AM
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Hi all, as have been reported Frölunda eliminated Djurgården 4-1 in games. Djurgårdens coach, Niklas Wikegård, who is ranked as one of the top coaches in the SEL said several times that Djurgårdens goal was to keep the game close after two periods and work from that and that showed on the ice. Djurgården basically had 4 players on the right side of the puck the first 40 minutes of all 5 games. With no redline offside its really hard to trap in the neutral zone and Frölunda was able to win the blueline and at times bombard Theodore with shoots from the outside. Djurgården managed to create allot of chances but could never establish any real pressure.

Personally I was looking forward to more of a battle between Theodore and Lundqvist. But the two teams played really diffrent games. Frölunda attacked more, created more, which also ment that they took allot more risk which Djurgåden was able to take advantage of, but over 5 games Djurgården had a extremly hard time to score on Lundqvist. Henrik won two games for Frölunda in Stockholm and the Globe Arena. Theodore had somewhat of a easier position. Allot of puck was thrown at him but Djurgården played a thight box and Frölunda rarely had any time to shoot the puck. José also had a great series so one can hardly say that Lundqvist down right "won" the battle. Whenever a shooter is under pressure Thedore can save just about any shoot. But in one-on-one situations I would give the nod to Lundqvist. Frölunda didn't have many clear chances but when they did, like the breakaways late in games 2&3 they where able to score on them. Lundqvist is extremly solid in thoose situations and saved a handful of breakaways from Djurgården. Thedore also isn't able to cut the angels like Lundqvist is. But he is extremly fast in the net. The overall impression from this series for me is that Lundqvist defenitly can go up against anyone. Talentwise he is up there with someone like Theodore, if not better... I am biased but personally I would take Lundqvist over Theodore.

When it comes to Swedish goaltenders not beeing succesfull in the NHL before I look at it this way. The last 30 years Scandinavia as a whole had only produced 2 goaltenders, Tommy Salo and Pelle Lindbergh, who had any kind of success for more then a odd season. Finland had not delivered a single goalie to the NHL for 30 years, Sweden had produced 2. The last 5 years or so Scandinavia has delivered 5-6 goaltenders to the NHL, all of them beeing from Finland. It doesn't make any sense for someone to say that Lundqvist doesn't have the same conditions to succed as thoose guys. Miika Kiprusoff for example is born in Finland but played his first real seasons against men in the SEL. He had played almost twice the amount of games in the SEL then he had in the SM-liiga before he moved to north america.

Its a likely that Lundqvist will need time in the AHL to adept to the north american game. But he is gooing to be a starter in the NHL without a doubt. The question is how good he is gooing to become.

The finals of the SEL are played between Färjestad led by Zedno Chara, Sheldon Souray and Martin Gerber and Frölunda starting on the 3 of april. Its best of 7 and games are played every other day.

Highlights game 4:

Highlights game 5:

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