Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Swedish Triangle

Nice article by Custance about Nick Havelid in today's AJC. Apparently he and Moose live "within walking distance" of one another and their kids play together.

Money quote:

Even when the team was at its worse, Havelid excelled. He's constantly matched against the most dangerous scorers, yet when Buffalo routed the Thrashers 10-1 in January, Havelid was a plus-one for the game.

The Thrashers have allowed 55 more goals than they've scored this season, yet Havelid's plus-minus hovered around even most of the season. It's just now, during the Thrashers' recent dive, that he has dropped to a minus-four. It's still the best of any defenseman who has been with the team all season.

I feel guilty for not praising Havelid enough on this blog, because he has delivered all season long. Young Toby's been getting all the attention--and why not? he's awesome--but it's only decent to raise a glass to the veteran on our excellent Swedish Blue Line (the one part of our defense that needs absolutely zero changes). Perhaps Havelid should be captain next season.

Speaking of Toby Enstrom getting all the attention, here's a recent article on him and Washington's Nicklas Backstrom, another Swedish rookie that will might very well win the Calder Trophy this year. The article celebrates the fact that 1) they're both Swedish, 2)they're both highly talented young players contending for the Calder Trophy, and 3)they both play in the Southeast Division. Oh, and it compares Enstrom to a young Nick Lidstrom. I don't want to make too much of that...might explode my brain with over-excited thoughts about the future.

I doubt Moose will stay with us beyond this season (though it is possible), which is too bad for several reasons, one of which is that the occasional Swedish Triangle of Enstrom, Havelid, and Hedberg could make huge waves for the next few years. Maybe that's just a sentimental fantasy, but I like the notion of a "Swedish Triangle." Has a nice ring to it, I think.

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