Yesterday in Milwaukee, goaltender Magnus Hellberg was being filmed by a local television station as part of a “life in the day of a goaltender” feature. Twenty-four hours later he’s in Nashville after being called up on an emergency basis following the sudden news of Pekka Rinne’s hip infection.
“[The cameras] followed me for a day and I got the call on the same day. First time for me, it’s pretty exciting,” Hellberg said Thursday morning. “Obviously it’s an unfortunate situation going on here but I’m excited to work with [Carter] Hutton and [goalie coach] Mitch [Korn]. Just excited to be here.”
In three games with the Milwaukee Admirals this season, Hellberg recorded a 1-2 record with a 2.33 goals-against average and .913 save percentage. Carter Hutton will fill in as the Predators’ starter right now in Rinne’s absence, but Head Coach Barry Trotz said he will take the goaltending situation day by day in the near future.
Hellberg will get a chance to start soon and he wants to make the most of the opportunity he will get over the next month or so.
“Hutton is a great goalie and I’m going to support him when he plays,” Hellberg said, “but when I get the chance I’m going to try to do my best and help the team win hockey games.”
Entering training camp there was a thought that Hellberg had a chance to earn the backup spot to Rinne. That didn’t turn out to be the case. Hutton had a stranglehold on that position, especially after Hellberg suffered an injury in rookie camp. He did not appear in a preseason game for the Predators, either.
The Predators’ 2011 second-round pick has put the disappointment of last month behind him and feels he is playing well heading into his first NHL stint.
“It hasn’t been my best game but I’ve been pretty good. I had one win and two overtime losses, so they were tight games and could have gone either way,” Hellberg said. “Just looking forward now to contribute to this team.”
Here is video of Hellberg’s call-up to Nashville, courtesy of Fox 6 in Milwaukee: