Monster ready to help Leafs end losing ways

By Damien Cox

It seems like most, or all, of Jonas Gustavsson’s brief NHL career has been spent fighting back from injuries or ill health.

Indeed, there has been far more written about Gustavsson’s heart issues or his groin problem than about his actual accomplishments as a Maple Leaf.Still, there’s a great deal of hope that Gustavsson, expected to get his second NHL start Monday night against the Anaheim Ducks, can be the catalyst for a significant turnaround in what has been a disastrous start to the Leaf season.

“I haven’t felt any pain for a couple of days now, but I haven’t talked to the coach,” Gustavsson said after practice Sunday.

The 0-7-1 Leafs did send goalie James Reimer back to the Marlies Sunday, however, and head coach Ron Wilson confirmed that Gustavsson will, at the very least, back up Joey MacDonald, with Vesa Toskala still out with a sore knee.

But bet on Gustavsson starting. Even though MacDonald played his best game in Vancouver on Saturday, the Leafs still lost 3-1 and he is 0-3 in three starts.

So unless something goes wrong in practice Monday morning, it’ll be “The Monster” between the pipes. He allowed three goals in 37 minutes to Washington on the first weekend of the season mopping up for Toskala, then allowed only two goals to Ottawa. His save percentage of .894 in limited action is the best among the Leaf goalies.–monster-ready-to-help-leafs-end-losing-ways

316 Responses to Monster ready to help Leafs end losing ways

  1. Kramer says:

    Why don't they ever make a vaccine for herpes?

  2. cam7777 says:

    Florida is an interesting one.  I was reading a blog by a Panthers fan over at Hockeybuzz, and it seems that some Florida fans feel that they are going to get nothing on returns for Horton, Vokoun, etc…  They really are the Leafs of 2 years ago, except that they have Kulikov in place of Tlusty. 

    First things first, I think they have to just acknowledge their situation, and start trading away veterans ASAP.  Get back whatever you can for Vokoun, and hope the lack of goaltending brings you Taylor Hall.  I would even trade away Horton for less than he's worth (maybe just a late 1st) in an attempt to wipe the slate clean, and pull off a Duchene/O'Reilly type maneuver.  Weiss too, like the Leafs, has been around for too much losing.  Booth and Frolik are the new guys, and the team should work on getting them a better support cast through the draft.  Then the FA's will come….

  3. bbruins37 says:

    i was trying to get away from using the bruins. i said teams like them, and the sabres can be seen somewhat as an anomaly when it comes to building a team. minus vanek, neither team has a recent 1st round pick that is contributing greatly to the team. as for rask i basically consider him a bruins pick. true they didnt select him but as he never played for toronto and went in the 1st rd. hes a good representation of what can be had in the 1st round.

    going through the teams:

    ducks – getz, perry, ryan
    thrashers – kovalchuk, little, even lehtonen
    bruins – none
    sabres – vanek
    hurricanes – staal
    hawks – kane, toews, barker, seabrook
    flames – phaneuf, iginla (dallas but never played for them)
    avs – duchene, wolski
    jackets – nash, brassard
    wings – none

    im getting tired of this but the point is those players are huge parts of their teams and were all taken  high in the draft. i know the argument for FA but its really tough to do what boston didby throwing big money at two big free agents, having them pan out, and still having enough room to assemble other pieces. remember the bruins werent even a playoff team in savard and chara's first year, and they were 8th in the conference in their second (not really a contender). it wasnt until everything else fell into place that they were among the best.

    LA by the way has realy built itself up through the draft (frolov, brown, kopitar, doughty, johnson). they just didnt focus on d and goalie enough. youre not going to get much better if you draft stupidly. but if you fill your needs through the draft, its the best way to succeed.  its like the detroit lions taking like 5 receivers in a row in the 1st round. just stupid.

  4. the_word says:

    Its so hard having to grow up around Leafs fans that I seek out other Leafs fans on the internet? 

  5. mojo19 says:

    interesting point. I wish we still had Pavel Kubina.

    I hope they get him back next summer when he's UFA. Also, they could have kept him as captain.

  6. bbruins37 says:

    im not denying that i rip on the leafs. but i post other things besides a) the bruins or b) the leafs. obviously im going to rip on leafs fans for hall, there is a direct link between the bruins and leafs with that trade. i know i have commented on toskala but its not like everytime i talk about goalies i mention toskala.

    how does one interrupt a discussion here? even if i post something unrelated under one of your posts (which im sure i havent. check. but you wont check…) is it that hard to continue on with the other argument? its not like im am coming in loudly interrupting a conversation.

    im not *****ing about the attention they get at all. its all about hte way they conduct themselves.

    why should it matter if i hate the leafs or not if i back it up why i think they suck? you should be able to easily defend it if my claims are irrational

  7. cam7777 says:

    I was with you until the LA comment.  Frolov is on the outs, and Johnson is somehow an astoundingly bad -6 on a club that's winning games, and often by large margins.  I think you were one of the people in disagreement with me earlier this year, but Johnson is just not all he is cracked up to be.  I definitely think the kid is a bust.  His stats are worse than Stralman's.  Kopitar, Brown and Doughty were all great picks (but really, how much brainpower does it take to draft the consensus number 2 overall), but even they didn't really turn it on until they were surrounded with better talent.  It's the presence of Smyth and Williams that is allowing Kopitar to rip it up, and the consequently allows Dustin Brown to play on the 2nd line where he belongs.  Dougthy will eventually need more help on the back-end too.  He's not going to carry that team very far at only 19, regardless of how good he is. 

    Once you have a decent set of draft picks to work with, you just have to surround them appropriately.  If you have a lesser set of draft picks (ie. Tlusty, Kadri, Kessel, Schenn vs. Doughty, Kopitar, Brown), then the people you surround them with have to be better. 

    Oh, and the Kings do have Hickey, Teubert and Bernier coming through the system, they are just taking longer than expected.  So it's not like they totally forgot to draft the other positions, they just aren't panning out like they had hoped.  They are actually the perfect example of hits and misses vs. batting everyone out of the park in chicago, pittsburgh and washington.  it just doesnt happen that way for everyone.

  8. reinjosh says:

    drafting is definitely important
    but so is getting those free agents or players through trades around those players to get the team winning
    you cant just draft and expect to win
    but you cant just rely on UFA's and trades and expect to win (especially in a cap world) either
    the foundation has to be an even mix (maybe even more towards the drafting because of the cap)
    LA has those drafted players but also their trades or UFA players
    Scuderi was a UFA signing, Greene was acquired through trade both make up two of LA's top 4
    Smyth was acquired by trade, Williams acquired by trade, Stoll by trade and all three make up half of the top 6
    its just a balance between drafting and UFA's/trades that you need to be successful
    although i would agree if you were to argue that it would dip towards the drafting side a little
    and i like your detroit lions analogy
    but you should have used the Islanders analogy
    they drafted 4 straight goalies in the draft after getting De Haan and Tavares
    and then went ut and signed two more goalies
    and still had Di Pietro
    stupid drafting and UFA signing

  9. HABSSTAR says:

    Well I think what happened was an over sensitive Leafs fans losing his mind on any or alll nay sayers to what Burke has done thus far with the leafs. 

    Its apparently trolling/bashing to say you think Burke has done no favours for the Leafs or their fans.  It's apparently not trolling however to come up with a million and one tired excuses on how Burke is actually doing a good job, to include quotes from Burke about how he's doing a good job.  Its trolling/bashing to point out the Leafs record thus far, but apparently ok to make statements like "But we deserved to win at 2-3 of those games".  The fact is you get the record you deserve and Burke has thus far underwhelmed as a GM and the team has underwhelmed thus far as well.  It is not, not in a million years what the GM, the team or the fans expected.  Anyone who says so is a straight out liar.  If it was what was expected there wouldn't have been the angst demonstrated by Leafs fans that there has been so far nor would you guys have been pounced on by other fans.  It'd be like me saying, after the fact, that I expected the Habs season to be a total disaster last year.  I could have said it but it would have been pure BS.  I'm pretty sure everyone expected them to be competitive, I'm not even a fan and I expected them to be competitive.  There was, as there always is, good natured jabbing between rival fans but I think just about everyone expected more out of the Leafs than this including the word. 

    If I came out and said the Islanders are crap based on their record not a single person would come out argue against. Let alone take up the double position of arguing against yet maintaining that they never expected them to be competitive. You make the same statement about the leafs and apparently you're a *****tard because it's only 9 games in. BUT no body expected them to competitive?  It's total BS and the word got pissed cause I called him on it.  That's what happened.

    I've also noted how Leafy has becomes a target of the Koolaid Crew here on HTR because he's critical of Burke and his moves thus far as the Leafs GM as well.  I guess he's a troll/basher too because he doesn't subscribe to the Burke can do no wrong just ask him/ 1-7-1 is acceptable cause we never expetcted to be competitive view of things. Despite him being, without a doubt, a life long Leafs fan he's even getting the gears. 

    But I guess all of this can be "debated" to death.  I have only one question Mojo.  Did you expect the Leafs to be competitive this year?

  10. bbruins37 says:

    "but really, how much brainpower does it take to draft the consensus number 2 overall"

    thats not the point i was trying to make. just having the opportunity to get a player high in the draft is enough. well i guess it goes without saying that you need to make it count though.

    and yeah, lately the kings have been addressing the backend. i was speaking more like a couple years ago. i think their rebuilding process could have been sped up if they had maybe focused on the backend beforehand.

  11. bbruins37 says:

    no i definitely agree that there needs to be a mix (the only team i remember that was a true contender while relying pretty much solely on drafting was buffalo right after the lockout.

    im just saying a team's true foundation is the players they draft. doesnt mean it has to be, but its very likely. is it possible toronto could make moves and not even miss those picks they gave away? sure, but i see that as highly unlikely. you almost never see a team that contends thats foundation is UFAs.

    islanders management sucks, but theyll surely turn things around like the pens did by half-assing their way into those high picks. its somethign i hate about the nhl but i guess its unavoidable because i'd prefer that to no parody.

  12. bbruins37 says:

    the americans have some pretty scary goaltending for the olympics: miller, thomas, and anderson. they could be a big upset pick for the olympics next year

  13. HABSSTAR says:

    I wouldn`t say the Leafs have played goon hockey either.  They have however been guilty of taking stupid/needless penalties that have come back to bit them in the ass in a couple of games. 

    I think to get into the middle of the pack like you're talking about they're gonna have to depend on more than just their power play, they're gonna need to address their PK as well or stop taking the previously mentioned types of penalties.  You can't have a bottem end PK and play the type of hockey they`ve been built to play unless they got a goalie who`s gonna just be a stone wall in front of the net.    

    The Ducks handed the Leafs opportunities that a lot of other teams won`t with their undiciplined play but to the Leafs' credit they didn't take stupid penalties back to kill any chance on the PP and they cashed in on the chances the Ducks gave them.  That's all that can be asked for and it should be encouraging just to see the team actually cashing in on the opportunities provided.  

  14. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    "although i personally doubt that they would as they do have a reputation to uphold"

    have you ever watched fox news? Trust me, reputation isn't their biggest concern. If even one scout says Taylor Hall is better it'll be on every news station around (which is EXACTLY what happened).

    Lets say Hall ends up being worse than Tavares? Lets say tavares scores 50 most years and Hall only scores 30…does the scout who advised the team to trade up take the heat??? no way…The draft is a win win for scouts.

    Look up old scouting reports on players that never made the NHL…scouts TOTALLY exagerate. I cannot believe how many 'sure NHLers' have never played a game in the NHL…

    How many people thought Teemu would be the NHL's leading scorer the year after his rookie year? Things change. I will not be surprised if None of the big 3 lead the nhl in ponts this year…

  15. bbruins37 says:

    the point still stands that this report came out around the time of tavares' draft, so it would be drawing attention away from that draft and putting it on the next one. so what would be the point of that?

    also what can you say about years where there isnt anyone to really look forward to? with everyone calling the '11 class awful already? for the nba draft this year, everyone was saying it was awful, including scouts.

    im not arguing that things cant change, but from what ive seen i dont see anyone as on the level that the big 3 are on right now

  16. cam7777 says:

    the solution is simple: do not award the last place team the 1st overall pick.  everyone outside the playoffs should have an equal chance at the lottery picks, and the playoff teams should pick in order of their record.  this way, teams have to try and be competitve, and can't just ice a roster of kids and wait for their own crosby/malkin combo.  they would be better served trying to make the playoffs.

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