Jonas Gustavsson

Gustavsson to start for Leafs versus Caps


Calling all gamblers, calling all gamblers – Jonas Gustavsson (3.78 GAA, .878 SV%) to start in goal for Leafs tonight in Toronto versus Caps.

Bet the house on the over.

Gustavsson’s last start came Nov. 8 against the Panthers when he was yanked in the second period after allowing three softies.

Since then, the Leafs have ridden rookie Ben Scrivens…and won just once in four tries.

Of course, for the total (probably 5.5) to go over, the Leafs might need to contribute on the score sheet as well. Offense has been a major problem for Toronto, which has just eight goals in its last six games.

The Caps will need to get back to their goal-scoring ways, too. Washington hasn’t scored more than three times in its last six games. Alex Ovechkin is goalless in his last three.

Come to think of it, maybe the over isn’t such a good play.

Good betting advice, eh?

It looks like Havlat won’t make Panthers

Martin Havlat
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As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.

Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.

While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.

It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.

One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.

Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.

Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.

Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?

Silfverberg is set to practice again after Torres hit

Jakob Silfverberg
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Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.

The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.

The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:

That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.

Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:

Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.

Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.