Maple Leafs' Gustavsson Taken to Hospital for Observation

Eric LaForgeCorrespondent IDecember 2, 2009

MONTREAL- DECEMBER 1:  Jonas Gustavsson #50 of the Toronto Maple Leafs gets down to stop the puck on an attempt by Glen Metropolit #15 of the Montreal Canadiens during the NHL game on December 1, 2009 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

At first glance, it may look like the season for Toronto just got a lot worst. However, Gustavsson was not taken because of an injury. TSN reported that he had an elevated heart rate and was taken to the hospital for observation.

This came after the first period of the game Tuesday night against the Canadians. Gustavsson was playing well, and had a shut out going. But, from what I’ve heard, he was taken to the hospital during the intermission.

Since it’s way too early to tell what happened with Jonas Gustavsson, I’d like to talk a little bit about what the team needs to do if he needs surgery and is out for a long period of time.

However, I’m just speculating, I don’t actually know if he needs surgery, I’m just talking about the what ifs. My guess is that he’ll be fine, he might miss a game or two and then be back later this week.

I’m sure that Toronto fans are hoping that I’m right with that prediction. We saw what happened the last time Gustavsson missed time with an injury at the beginning of the season. He was gone and the Leafs went on that really long losing streak. The last thing that they want is for that to happen again.

Really, the only chance that the Leafs have of playing well without Gustavsson is if their back-up goalie plays just as good. If MacDonald struggles, then the Leafs will struggle.

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The sad part about Toronto is that everything relies on goal tending.

The don’t have the defense to keep the puck out of the net, and their offense (although much better) is not strong enough to make up those goals.

If MacDonald struggles, the team will have two choices. It can either play very defensively, force shots to the outside, and make it easier on their goalie, or they can attack and rely on their offense and hope that they can score more goals than they let in.

However, it will not be easy without Gustavsson.

Now, you may be asking why this matters. Most people think that Toronto is already out of play-off contention.

The reason that I think this matters is that Toronto is playing for respect at this point. Most of the fans that I have spoken to are embarrassed about the team and the team needs to regroup itself and show that they’re not as bad as everybody thinks.

Since he’s only there for observation, it probably won’t end up being too bad. But, they do need to be careful. With his history, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

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