When the Anaheim Ducks traded crunch time goal scorer and fan favorite Bobby Ryan to the Ottawa Senators in July for the barely known (on the West coast) Jakob Silfverberg, along with a first round draft pick many fans were left with a sinking feeling on the season. Rumors of a Ryan trade had swirled for years, but people hoped he would be worth a bit more than a relatively unknown.
But as hockey karma would have it Silfverberg scored the first goal of the Ducks’ now record season. The goal was the only one scored by the Ducks in a crushing 7-1 loss against the Colorado Avalanche, although most simply remember the glass shaking (literally) post game fight between coaches Bruce Boudreau and Patrick Roy. However, Silfverberg’s goal was enough for fans to think that maybe Ryan hadn’t left for nothing.
The naysayers were quickly set to rest as Silfverberg continued out of the Anaheim gates with goals night in and night out until he was injured with a broken right hand in a game played against his old team. Not that the time away from the ice stopped the Silfverberg jerseys from flying off the shelves of the Ducks’ team store.
Upon return from injury Silfverberg has not reached his initial potential with the Ducks quite yet, but over in Sochi the Gavle, Sweden native is already showing signs of his return to form in Sweden‘s attempt to take a highly skilled team all the way to the top of the medal podium.
On Wednesday’s game against the Czech Republic, Silfverberg was held off the scoreboard, but ended the night at a plus one rating. In Saturday’s matchup of Sweden vs. Latvia, Silfverberg had his first assist of the tournament on a goal scored in the second period by Jimmie Ericsson.
Team Sweden enters this week’s quarterfinals matchup at the top of the standings; the only team to win all three of their initial bracket games in regular time, although much concern on how Sweden’s injury plagued roster will fair in tougher competition still stands. But Silfverberg tends to have a way of filling in voids nicely, just ask anyone in Anaheim to explain how.