|(Photo by: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)|
Viktor Fasth, a 30-year old rookie out Sweden, is currently the National Hockey League's breakout star of the year, already. Before being signed by the Anaheim Ducks during the offseason, Viktor Fasth played in the Swedish Elite League, where he won two consecutive goalie of the year awards. Another goalie many might new who accomplished similar success is Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers. Ducks fans and those in the organization hope Fasth will end up like Lundqvist.
The purpose for signing Fasth in the offseason was to push Jonas Hiller to play his best. However, Fasth is exceeding expectations and is outplaying Hiller.
Since the injury to Anaheim starter Hiller, Fasth has taken advantage of his playing time in North America. His first start came against the Nashville Predators and won in overtime allowing only two goals. Since then, he has lost only one game all season.
With most European goalies who come to North America to play, it is a struggle at first to adjust not only on the ice, but off the ice. Due to the Olympic-sized rinks overseas, the angles and post work will have to be adjusted, which takes time. Off the ice, Europeans find it hard to adjust to the North American lifestyle and usually isn't comfortable for them. However, Fasth has been able to block all of that out and is focused on stopping pucks for the Ducks.
At 6'0", Fasth is smaller than many in the league. Fasth covers everything down low because of his bigger pads. The pads make up for the lack of size at 6'0" and takes up a lot of space. Fasth, like most Swedish goalies, play a butterfly position.
Here is how to beat Viktor Fasth.
- Rebounds: Fasth gives up a lot rebounds. Instead of kicking it out into the corners, he seems to unreact and let the puck bounce off the leg pads.
- 5-hole: Fasth leaves a big 5-hole open when he goes down into the butterfly. His stick, which should be covering the 5-hole shifts to his right, and leaves it open for a puck to fly through.
- Glove side: Fasth is prone to having the front of his glove facing down to the ice instead of at the puck.
Viktor Fasth's career stats vs Nashville
|#30 Viktor Fasth||2||0||0||0||.927||1.85|
Viktor Fasth's 2012-13 stats
|#30 Viktor Fasth||8||1||0||1||.924||2.01|