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Gustavsson-Toronto Maple Leafs: Goalie's Got Gusto

Louis PisanoAnalyst INovember 28, 2009

RALEIGH, NC - NOVEMBER 19: Jonas Gustavsson #50 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates out for warmups prior to his game against the Carolina Hurricanes at the RBC Center on November 19, 2009 in Raleigh, North Carolina.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

As all Leafs Nation saw their team fall behind early against the Panthers, yet again giving up the first goal of the game, they also saw their team fight back to get the sweep in the state of Florida.

Jonas Gustavsson, the Monster, is definitely giving Toronto fans the hope of having solid goal tending for years to come if he can be resigned by Brian Burke, as he is only signed for the one year at this point.

This 6’3” 192 lb agile Swede is still finding his way around the crease in the NHL, and has had a few bumps along the way. He’s played the puck outside the trapezoidal area and behind the red line, and took a penalty for it.

Meh, big deal.

He hasn’t been great in the shootout, but with more work with goaltending Guru Francois Allaire, this will improve. His save percentage is just under .900 at .897 and he has a 3.23 GAA, not stellar numbers by any means.

But he sure ain’t a Swedish meatball.

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With yet another injury to the seemingly constantly ailing, supposed No. 1 goalie Vesa Toskala, the work load is going to fall squarely on the shoulders of Gustavsson.

Toronto has been trying everything under the sun to solidify their defensive zone responsibilities, and not the entire onus of those previously mentioned numbers should be on Gustavsson.

As the defense improves with the addition of fellow Swede Carl “Uzi” Gunnarsson, and once Mike Komisarek gets healthy, the numbers for the Monster will steadily climb or fall as the case may be.

The Monster has flashed a great glove, has excellent lateral movement, and with his size covers a lot of net when down in the butterfly. Lots of positives for this guy and I think he will only get better.

Toronto is getting some wins and building confidence while still leading the league in the shots department, and as the Monster gets more comfortable and the team begins to rally around him, Leafs Nation and the team will see some more success.

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