Phantoms goalie Johan Backlund says the reason he hasn’t been playing so far this season is an injury he got after training camp.
"Right now I’m injured and I’ve been injured for the last week and a half. So the reason why I haven’t played in the beginning of the season is simply because I haven’t been cleared to play."
"I was sent down to Adirondack after training camp and then I got injured. My priority now is to rehab and look to come back as soon as possible after the injury."
Backlund isn’t sure how the three goalie situation on the Phantoms gets handled.
"We have a bit of a different type of situation here since we have three goalies in Adirondack. But are we going to continue with three goalies here or how it’s going to be in the future, I really don’t know. I haven’t heard any talk about anyone of us getting sent to the ECHL."
There were some rumors already back in the summer taking Backlund back to Sweden, but he says he’s fully focused on staying.
"Really? No, I haven’t talked about moving anywhere. Like I said, I’m doing my best to come back after an injury and then keep playing here."
Backlund says working with Jason Bacashihua and Michael Leighton is going well considering the circumstances.
"We don’t have any problems at all. Of course it’s not ideal to have three goalies and we rotate in practices. They’re both great guys and Leighton is the one who has played most of the games here in the beginning of the season, so naturally he gets the full time practices before the games."
"Like I said, it’s not the ideal situation to have three goalies, but you just have to make the best out of it. Of course all three want to play as many games as possible, otherwise we wouldn’t be here."
Backlund thinks his fellow countryman Erik Gustafsson has developed a lot over the summer and should be close to earning a spot on the Flyers.
"He’s done well. Erik is on his second full season in Adirondack and he had an excellent camp and he was really close to getting a starting spot on the Flyers. I really believed that he would stay up there and I think it was a shame that it didn’t happen."
"Erik has played four games and in the games that I have seen him play he has been really good. He’s taken a big step in his development and I think he has a great shot [to be called up] if there are injuries on defensemen on the Flyers."
Backlund also sees himself having developed during his years on the Phantoms.
"I think I’ve become better at playing with the stick and technically I’m a better goalie today. It’s a different game here with different angles since the rinks are smaller here. It takes a while to adjust, but it has worked well for me."
"Then of course I’ve gotten a lot of important and new experiences while playing here. It was special to be up with the Flyers and see how things work up there. You also mature as a person since there’s just so much new to you in the beginning. An important experience is for example how you prepare yourself for games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday."
The next step for Backlund is to get back in action.
"I’m hoping to be cleared to play already by the weekend. Now that we have three goalies, it’s another matter whether I get to play or not."
This report was based off of a Swedish-language story released by Hockeysverige.