Leafs Talk: Should Jonas Gustavsson Be the Leafs' Starting Goaltender?

Brad LeClairCorrespondent IDecember 10, 2011

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 05: Jonas Gustavsson #50 of the Toronto Maple Leafs comes up with the third period save against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on December 5, 2011 in New York City.  The Leafs defeated the Rangers 4-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

James Reimer has been back for three games, and in all honesty, has looked rather rusty in the games he's been in.

After allowing four goals to the Bruins, another three in 60 minutes and change to the Devils and four power-play goals to the Capitals, the Leafs have gotten a grand total of one point in those three games.

In an article I released about three months ago, before the start of the 2011-12 season, I made bold predictions for the Leafs and predicted that Jonas Gustavsson would have a better season this year than Reimer.

So far, the jury is still out on both.

At the start of the year, there should've been a bit more concern over the Leafs shelling out a contract to James Reimer like they did. He basically had four months of NHL play, and half the time, most teams didn't have a book out on him.

This season, it's apparent teams want to get traffic in front of him and also shoot glove-high on Reimer. It may be early-season rust after being off for some time, but the question remains, why did the Leafs just throw what Gustavsson did earlier out the window?

He has the only win in the last 10 days and it came against the Rangers in the Big Apple. To me, Gustavsson should have gotten the start in Washington over Reimer.

This even happened earlier in the year when the Leafs decided to turn to Ben Scrivens over Gustavsson. Though Gustavsson was struggling a little more earlier this year, the fact remains, coach Ron Wilson still doesn't trust him as far as he can throw him.

Gustavsson, who has a penchant for allowing soft goals in bunches, has actually played rather steady lately and has kept the soft goals to a minimum, unlike James Reimer who by all accounts should've had the David Clarkson goal from Wednesday night, and at least two of the power-play goals Dennis Wideman ripped by him top cheese.

Now while I'm not saying he should be the starter for the remainder of the year, what I am saying, however, is that Gustavsson should be the starter for the time being.

Ride the hot streak until he starts playing badly again.

I just don't think it's a great decision for Gustavsson's confidence right now to immediately sit him after a great game. It was a back-to-back situation and he likely wasn't getting the start on Wednesday, but easily after Reimer lost that game and was beat by David Clarkson of all players, that should've been the green light to start Gustavsson.

Should the Leafs ride the hot streak of Gustavsson more, or is Ron Wilson slowly starting to ruin some of our young players like Nazem Kadri, Gustavsson and, of course, who can forget the scoring machine known as Cody Franson from the point? I'd hate to see what happens when Mike Komisarek returns.

 

Feel free to comment. Thanks for reading.