Telly fine tuning game

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:09 AM ET

Mikael Tellqvist received some nice gifts for his 26th birthday on Monday, including a new Play Station Portable from his girlfriend, and was treated to a fine steak dinner.

But the best present might have been the night before at the Air Canada Centre, when fans began chanting his name after his perfect 11-save first period against the Ottawa Senators.

"I heard 'Telly, Telly' which was pretty cool," the Swedish goaltender said. "It really made me smile behind my mask. I hope I get their support."

This is a pivotal year for Tellqvist, with starter Ed Belfour, 40, still ahead of him on the depth chart, Jean Sebastien Aubin pressing from behind and No. 1 pick Tuukka Rask looming somewhere in the future.

Tellqvist can't be considered a North American neophyte anymore. A full season in the American Hockey League during the lockout brought good, but not spectacular, results. He was one of the Swedish goalies in the 2004 World Cup, with a 1-1-1 record.

"(Getting established) was my goal coming into this camp," he said. "Hopefully, they give me that chance to play up in the NHL, show some trust in me and I show what I can do."

He eventually was beaten for two goals on 20 shots by the Sens on Sunday, one on a rebound during a five-on-three power play.

"We made a defensive mistake on the second goal, but that will happen in the pre-season," Tellqvist said. "(Ottawa's) power play is unbelievable and we'll be the same when we get all our guys in there."

The Sens stuck 6-foot-9 defenceman Zdeno Chara in front of the Leafs net during some of their nine man-advantage situations.

"I'm kind of small (5-foot-11) and I can look between his legs, so it didn't work so well on me," Tellqvist said with a laugh. "Probably (Florida Panthers giant) Roberto Luongo would have more of a problem."


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