On loan in Sweden, Gustavsson seems to be regaining his form
Struggling immensely in his first two seasons with Belleville, with his save percentage never reaching higher than 0.890, Filip Gustavsson looks to be progressing nicely in Sweden.
On loan to Södertälje SK of the HockeyAllsvenskan (Sweden’s 2nd tier men’s league), while North America tries to ease itself back into professional hockey, Gustavsson has been the feature goaltender over the last month. Through 12 games “Gus” carries a 0.921 SV%, 2.32 GAA and a record of 6-5-1 so far, a welcoming sight for the Senators organization.
Being just 22-years-old Gustavsson is far from his finished product and while patience is needed for a young netminder, if he doesn’t start producing at the AHL level he could get surpassed by the Senators outstanding goalie prospect depth. Making this resurgence that Gustavsson is having that much more critical, he’s way more likely to come back to the Senators for training camp and be that much more confident.
In a recent article with hockeysverige.se, Gustavsson brought up his struggles with consistency in the AHL:
"“My performance has been a bit too much up and down. Some matches have been really good, some matches have been really bad. It’s the evenness I’ve had a bit of a hard time with, and it’s not good at all because we often play Friday, Saturday, Sunday”"
The article was in Swedish (thanks google translate), Gustavsson realizes his battles with consistency and knows he will have to improve in that area. Later on in the article, the Swedish goaltender stated that his play improved after the Christmas break and he seems to have continued that momentum into the new season.
Expected to start the season in Belleville as the backup to Joey Daccord and fending off expected ECHL starter and former QMJHL goalie of the year Kevin Mandolese, his margin for error is small. That’s why the remainder of his time on loan will be extremely important in dictating the rest of his season.