Linus Ullmark made his NHL season debut two weeks ago and left with 44 saves and a 3-1 win for the Sabres over Columbus.
The goalie returned to the Amerks the next day with the experience and knowledge that he can compete at the highest level of hockey.
“A win is a win, a game is a game,” said Ullmark after practice on Tuesday. “It’s always nice to have that in the back seat, but looking forward, I’m just trying to prepare for the next practice and the next game.”
It’s been a year of high points for Ullmark. He’s 3rd in the AHL in saves, 2nd in the league in wins, and recently named to next week’s AHL All-Star Classic.
“He doesn’t let goals bother him, he lets it go and he’s worried about our team winning,” said Amerks head coach Chris Taylor. “He’s not worried about anything else. Nothing has bugged him since he’s been down here.”
Ullmark may be happy that his played has resulted in an All-Star game appearance, but he has an even bigger thrill looming. The 24-year old and his wife are expecting their first child in March.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” said Ullmark. “I think there is going to be a lot of nights that take a toll on the body, so I have to be a lot more prepared for that mentally and physically, but you know what, it’s the best thing that could ever happen.”
The regular season ends in April, but with the second most points in the Eastern Conference at the moment, Ullmark and the Amerks expect a deep playoff run.
“That’s what you play for, you play for the Cup. You play for nothing else,” said Ullmark. “You don’t play for 76 games in the regular season then go home. You can’t be satisfied with that. I’m looking forward to it. I really want to go there. I really want to have my first taste of playoff hockey here in North American and I think it’s going to be awesome.”