San Jose Sharks
Exit Interview: Lindblom Knows He Has To Play Better, Still Trying To Find Old Confidence
When the San Jose Sharks signed forward Oskar Lindblom, the expectation was that he would provide some solid secondary scoring.
Unfortunately for Lindblom and the Sharks, that was not the case. In 73 games this season, Lindblom had six goals and nine assists. He started the season in the top-six forward group but became a regular on the fourth line as the season progressed.
The former Philadelphia Flyer’s past is well documented, and although he has returned to the ice, he is still working on gaining back the form he had prior to getting sick. Before he was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma cancer in Dec. 2019, Lindblom had rung up 28 goals in his previous 111 games.
He’s likely to have another shot next year with the San Jose Sharks. Lindblom happened to be GM Mike Grier’s most expensive UFA signing last year, in terms of AAV, with his two-year, $5 million dollar agreement. So he probably will get another chance to prove the Sharks’ faith in him right.
Here is was Lindblom had to say to the media during locker room cleanout day, in regards to getting his confidence back.
Lindblom says he dealt with a late-season concussion, doesn’t foresee long-term problem
— Sheng Peng (@Sheng_Peng) April 15, 2023
See the full Oskar Lindblom interview here
Lindblom on what he feels he needs to focus on this offseason:
The only thing I really need to focus on is getting my confidence back. I think that’s the biggest thing. I’ve been trying to find it this year, but it’s been tough. I mean, it’s been tough for everyone. Go back in the summer and work on small things in my game and come back next year and be prepared and have those positive thoughts in my head and try to play great hockey.
Lindblom on if he felt he was getting his game back towards the end of the year:
Been through a lot the last couple of years. I feel great, and I feel like we have a great group here too. We just need to find our mojo a little bit and better hockey next year. We have a lot of things to work on, and I think it’s the same for everyone.
I believe in myself, and like I said earlier, just to get confidence is huge in the sport. It’s tough when you go a whole year, and you’re trying to find what you’re doing wrong and trying to get back on track, but it takes a toll on you. I mean, we are all humans, so it’s not easy to go out there every night, and you always think the next game is gonna be better, but you really have to have a longer stretch where you actually can produce and help the team win. So that’s my goal for next year. I know what I can do in this league, and I just need to get back to that.
Lindblom on if there was any point during the season he felt locked in:
Yeah, of course, there have been games I feel like, okay, I feel great today, and I haven’t been scoring. But it has to be like that every night. It can’t only be a couple of games here and there. So I mean, it’s tough. When you play much of the year on the fourth line…it’s tough to produce, and you’re not playing more minutes, of course. But I won’t complain about anything like that because I have to play better. I think in the end here, a lot of guys took big steps, and we just need to follow through with that for next year.
Lindblom on how he could try and be more consistent:
I mean, you have to be mentally strong. It’s a lot of games. I’ve been in this league long enough, so I should know how to prepare myself every game. I always need to go back and work and get stronger mentally and physically.
Lindblom on his summer plan to get his mental strength up:
Talking a lot with my agent and seeing how we’re gonna do it. You can do it in a lot of ways. Talk to a mental coach guy, so we’ll see.
Because I felt before I got sick, I think my confidence was as high as it could be. So after that, I’ve been struggling, and so I think it took a toll on me mentally to just go out there and believe in myself again and play the game I can. At the same time, as long as you’re fit enough and you feel great coming to camp, I think it’s only gonna help you.
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