By Mike Harrington
Defenseman Henrik Tallinder and goaltender Jhonas Enroth both practiced fully with the Sabres this morning but will sit out tonight's game against Carolina after returning from the Olympics. Tallinder, in fact, overnighted in Newark, N.J., and didn't return until today.
Tallinder and Enroth both had prime seats for Sunday's gold medal game, the 3-0 loss to Canada. Tallinder got one shift in the game after hastily being inserted in the lineup when center Nicklas Backstrom failed a doping test. Enroth served as Henrik Lundqvist's backup goalie, as he did for five of the six games in the tournament.
Both players were thoroughly impressed with the way Canada played in the tourney's ultimate game.
"It was a different level compared to us,' Tallinder said. "We were a couple of guys short but even if they would have been into the game, we would have had to play a really, really, really, really, really good game to be able to beat them."
Although neither saw much ice time, both reveled in the Olympic experience. Tallinder also played for Sweden in Vancouver in 2010. Enroth enjoyed watching some cross country skiing and particularly enjoyed his interaction with Lundqvist, one of his idols from his homeland.
"It was a great experience, especially practicing and playing with Lundqvist," Enroth said. "I picked up a couple things he's done. I wish I got in one game but it is what it is and it was still a great experience."
"You're around athletes the whole time, not just hockey players," Tallinder said. "Athletes in general like figure skaters, curlers, speed skaters, skiers. It's fun to see how they prepare for a contest like they're in. It's completely different from hockey."