Toronto Maple Leafs: Jonas Gustavsson Must Step Up in Goalie Conundrum
On July 7, 2009, the Toronto Maple Leafs signed Jonas Gustavsson. Leaf fans instantly celebrated that they now had a goalie that could bring them to the playoffs in the near future. While he has had his moments, Gustavsson has been far too inconsistent.
With the recent success of James Reimer, Gustavsson now must realize that he may not be the Leafs goalie of the present and future. With Jean-Sebastien Giguere most likely on his way out by the end of this season, it will be a competition between Reimer, Gustavsson and maybe Jussi Rynnas for the starter's job during camp next season.
Let's look at the stats of the five goaltenders in the Leafs system.
Record: 6-13-2 Goals Against Average: 3.29 Save Percentage: .890 percent Total Record as a Leaf: 22-28-11
When you've lost twice the games than you've won, there is obviously a problem.
Record: 9-8-3 Goals Against Average: 2.71 Save Percentage: .900 percent Total Record as a Leaf: 15-15-5
Giggy has been a reliable goalie for the Leafs, but if it's possible to trade him for some future assets at the deadline, the Leafs should. He's already said he'd waive his no-trade clause.
Record:4-2-0 (Leafs), 9-5-1 (Marlies) Goals Against Average:2.26 (Leafs), 2.59 (Marlies) Save Percentage:.933 percent (Leafs), .920 percent (Marlies)
Impressed everyone with his performance on the western road trip. If Gustavsson gets his act together, he will be the back-up next year.
Record:9-11-3 (with Marlies) Goals Against Average: 2.63 Save Percentage: .917 percent
In his first season in North America, Rynnas is learning the North American game and performing admirably, too.
Record: 4-2-3 (with Marlies) Goals Against Average: 2.42 Save Percentage: .919 percent
The fifth Leafs' prospect that no one seems to be talking about, Reimer recently said he was too good for the ECHL. Maybe one day, he'll be too good for the AHL.
There you have it. Out of five goaltenders in the Leafs organization, Gustavsson is performing the worst. He has the end of this season and next year to improve, and if he doesn't, maybe he will be next year's Giguere: An expiring contract that they don't want to lose for nothing.
With Reimer getting the call-up again yesterday, the pressure on Gustavsson should get even stronger and if he folds under it, Reimer has proved so far that he can handle the job. It wouldn't surprise me if Rynnas could too. Scrivens still needs a couple of years of development.
Consider the competition started.
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