Following Monday afternoon’s 3-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins winger Milan Lucic remarked that it was the “best he’s ever seen” Jonas Gustavsson play, according to CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty.
On face value, that might seem strange being that a) Gustavsson’s playing on a team that used to be in the West and b) “The Monster” gets injured often enough that some might be surprised Lucic’s seen him at all.
It’s more interesting when you recall that Gustavsson, 28, and Lucic, 25, saw plenty of each other when the Swede was tending net for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Surely you must be intrigued to wonder how “The Monster” has played against the Bruins in the past, so have no fear; PHT did the legwork to study his history against the B’s.
As it turns out, he’s seen some extreme highs and lows, judging from split stats:
Gustavsson vs. Bruins
2013-14: one game played, 1-0-0, .933 save percentage
2011-12: 5 GP: 0-3-0, .838
2010-11: 1 GP: 0-1-0, .938
2009-10: 3 GP: 2-0-1, .940
As you can see, Gustavsson had one lousy year vs. Boston but was pretty much outstanding against the B’s in 2009-10 and 10-11, so that’s quite the sterling endorsement from Lucic.
Maybe Lucic was just feeling generous because he scored his 100th career goal against him today, though.
Detroit Red Wings No. 1 goalie Jimmy Howard described himself as doubtful to play against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday. On the bright side, he also said his bruised hand isn’t a serious injury, earning a day-to-day label.
Another bright side is that Jonas Gustavsson looked very sharp against the Boston Bruins, earning Detroit a 3-2 win. Then again, it’s probably not the Red Wings’ preference to play the injury-prone netminder in back-to-back games.
Howard, 29, doesn’t receive a lot of attention as an elite goalie, yet the U.S. Olympic team brass would be foolish to ignore his strong work recently. He’s been sharp in 2013-14, too, as his individual stats (.922 save percentage, 2.39 GAA) are more impressive than his 3-2-0 record.
It might not be an ideal situation, but it does allow the Red Wings an opportunity to gauge how much they can lean on Gustavsson.
Jason Pominville has seen firsthand how a crowd can treat a returning player, as Nashville Predators fans absolutely tore apart Ryan Suter upon his return and second visit. It seems like his comeback to Buffalo should be a lot more positive Monday night, though.
The 30-year-old seems like he’s taking a “no hard feelings” approach, as the Buffalo News reports.
“It was weird coming in through the same door you usually go in, and having to go left instead of go right to go to the locker room was a little different,” Pominville said. “It’s good to be back, a lot of great memories, a lot of good times. Just excited to get the game going.
“I don’t hold anything against the organization or anything like that. I’m just happy to be where I’m at now and looking forward to get this game played.”
The Buffalo News guesses that Pominville will be received warmly, though Sabres fans have let people have it in the past, particularly with Brian Campbell and Danny Briere.
Two factors certainly help: the Sabres traded him and he’s in a different conference with a long-term deal. It’s not like he’ll be damaging his former team’s chances in a meaningful way, aside from the difficult-to-picture scenario of a Stanley Cup Final series.
Still, you never know, especially considering the fact that Buffalo is off to a pitiful start. The game’s on NBC SN, with a start time of 7:30 p.m. ET.