The Quiet Keeper

(Anders Nilsson/Pope Steve XXLVII)

While Kevin Poulin has been enjoying his deserved Pou-LIN-sanity awards and rewards his partner between the pipes Anders Nilsson has gone quietly about his job setting records of his own. On Saturday night he tied the Bridgeport Sound Tigers record for consecutive wins by a tender blocking 26 of the 28 shots he faced in a win over the Adirondack Phantoms. The next afternoon he broke the record previously held by Nate Lawson recording his eighth straight win. In this win over the perennial powerhouse Hershey Bears he allowed only one of the 21 shots he faced to cross the line. Not giving up a goal in overtime he went on to stop all 5 shots he faced in the shoot-out.

Yesterdays game was a rare one o’clock matinee and after playing Sat. at 7pm, Sun. at 3pm Anders picked up the first AHL shut out of his career stopping all twenty-six shots sent his way by the Albany Devils. Team record nine wins in a row for this Swedish behemoth, who looks like a transformer when fully dressed.

Anders stands 6 foot 5, is a solid 220lbs and was the third goalie selected in the 2009 draft. Immediately preceding him in the draft was fellow countryman Robin Lehner who at 6 foot 3 was selected by the Ottawa Senators.  The first goalie taken that year, was also selected by the Islanders, Mikko Koskinen from Finland, also casts a long shadow matching Nilssons’ 6 foot 5 frame. That’s 19 feet and an inch of goaltenders if you are doing the math, must have something to do with elk’s milk I think. But goalies can’t win games they can only lose them. Goals win games.

In calendar year 2012 (The Year of the Sound Tiger on the Chinese calendar) Bridgeport has 16 wins, 1 loss in regulation and 1 shoot-out loss. During this run they have out scored opponents 74 to 30. Not to shabby a record for a young team full of players on try-outs and with a first year AHL coach.


I had planned on writing an entire post devoted to Sound Tiger FAQ’s but as I kept nodding off the lovely Colleen suggested I bore our friends a little at a time and as always I agreed.

Why the Sound Tigers?

Bridgeport, though surrounded on all sides by wealthier suburbs, is not an island so Islanders was out. We do share a border with our neighbors to the south however, the Long Island Sound. So Sound it is.

Bridgeport is also the former home of P. T. Barnum whose museum sits a slap shot away from the Webster Bank Arena. A master of promotions, Barnum started the Barnum and Bailey Circus which continues to thrill audiences to this day. The Bengal tigers featured in his circus are swift powerful predators, a perfect fit for the team and there you have it, The Bridgeport Sound Tigers.


-Mike Flannery

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