We continue to summarize the season, club by club. Now it is time for Djurgården and Sebastian Strandberg gives his take on their season. "After a less than stellar autumn we found success after the New Year and did really well in that stretch" says the 27-year-old.
Standing: Six (88 points)
Sebastian Strandberg's comment: “Lots of ups and downs. The goal was to finish in a quarterfinals place. We certainly got more points than we did the season before. Certainly not optimal because we were aiming higher, but above all we wanted to finsish in a quarterfinals place. The league is extremely even and we had a less than stellar autumn. We found success after New Year and did really well in that stretch, especially at home. We felt we would go into the playoffs with a really good feeling. We were definitely heading in the right direction."
Was there anything special you did to improve after the fall?
– Well. We had quite a few new players and that means there was new guys who had to get used to our way of playing. We had players leave, although you shouldn't blame that. It was tough to get any continuity, and then it is about both damage and getting the game to match. We lacked that continuity until the New Year, but we did not change much. The coaching team stuck to our game plan. We completed it and in the end it produced results.
What is your best memory of the season?
– How we improved the season. We were pretty far down in the standings. At the end we took a whole bunch of home wins in a row (16 games). The feeling was that if the opponents were to win on our home ground, they would have to play a spectacular game. It felt like we were incredibly strong at home. I really take that with me. We will continue to build on that trend next season.
Offensively, number of goals scored: 137 (7)
Strandberg's comment: "Offensively we delivered. It was not at the top, but 137 goals is still acceptable. The offense was definitely not a problem. We needed a stronger powerplay to raise that figure. I think the offensive game on equal strength was good."
Defensively, goals scored: 135 (8)
Strandberg's comment: “There were too many goals allowed. Had we been better in that stats, we would have been a more powerful team throughout the season. You don't have to go into detail about it, but we could definitely be better defensively."
Powerplay: 19.35 percent (9)
Strandberg's comment: “It is a form of self-confidence play I would say. If you put a powerplay that works well and that gets some flow it can run quite easily and you can have it as a powerful weapon. It felt like we had to fight really hard to score on the powerplay. Sometimes it worked, but there was never any real chemistry among us that played on the man advantage. There is potential for improvement. Ninth place, well it goes without saying that we are not happy. We want to be a top team in that category."
Penalty Kill: 80 percent (9)
Strandberg's comment: "As I said, the game at equal strength was good, but special teams can be better. The feeling was that we took quite a few minor penalties. We played a lot on the penalty kill. We had some very good moments on the penalty kill, but also bad moments which means that the percentage is not that high. If you combine penalty kill and powerplay you want to be a little over 100 percent and we did not even reach 100 and it is absolutely not aacceptable."
Home Record: 61 points (2)
Strandberg's comment: "First of all, it is fantastic to play for the fans both at Hovet and in the Globe. They do a fantastic job every match. Even if it is not crowded they are loud and help us every night. We go out and play with more energy and it psychs us up a little. That made us successful at home. At the same time it becomes a self-indulgence thing there too. We feel like nobody can beat us at home."
Away Record: 27 points (9)
Strandberg's comment: "It was just too bad. It was the only thing that was not good after Christmas and New Year. It certainly sits a little on self-confidence. That confidence we had at home did not follow us on the road. It's that you get afraid to lose and when that happens you have almost already lost. Minus rating for our away games. Great potential for improvement."
…point leader: Linus Hultström, 32 points (15+17)
…most penalty minutes: Anton Hedman, 57 min
…players with the most game winning goals: Niclas Bergfors, 4 GWG
…most hits: Tom Nilsson, 81
…players with the most on ice average per match: Marcus Högström, 21:44 min/match