At some point this week, Jonas Gustavsson will make his season debut in net for the Maple Leafs.
It wasn’t all that long ago that the franchise was hoping “The Monster” was the goaltender of the future in Toronto. He has a decent debut season in 2009-10, appearing in 42 games with a 2.87 GAA and .902 save percentage. But from the beginning the lanky Swede was beset by health issues - not a knee or back or shoulder like most athletes face, but an accelerated heartbeat that required three procedures in 16 months to correct.
Although the ablation treatment was always described as “minor,” you have to wonder about the mental toll it took on a guy already dealing with the pressure of trying to establish himself as a player in the media fishbowl he walked into in a new country and league.
This year Gustavsson finds himself as a backup, just trying to get a little bit of playing time. James Reimer is the star between the pipes now, with the Leafs’ playoff hopes resting squarely on his shoulders. It will be interesting to see how The Monster responds when he gets his chance in the crease.
Mirtle breaks down the lethal Phil Kessel snapshot.
Our Jets beat reporter Paul Waldie says there is much joy in Winnipeg after the team’s first win.
Nazem Kadri tells Toronto Star reporter Bob Mitchell he doesn’t need another stint in the AHL.
The MLSE - Ryerson squabble over the name of the redone Maple Leaf Gardens is over.
National Post reporter Michael Traikos says the Leafs are trying to improve their woeful power play.
Former Atlanta Thrashers GM and current Leafs director of player personnel Rick Dudley won’t be at the ACC tonight to watch the team he built.
Toronto Sun reporter Terry Koshan on the need for the Leafs’ defence to step it up.
Colby Armstrong shares tales of his glorious time in Atlanta as a Thrasher.
Some video and preview notes from the Leafs’ website.
The Columbus Blue Jackets have been terrible so far this year, but the team hit a whole new low last night when Dallas Stars forward Jaimie Benn beat every guy on the ice on this goal: