With James Reimer being out of tonight’s Leafs game against the Flyers with “whiplash-like symptoms” (hey, whatever…), Jonas Gustavsson gets the start in goal for Toronto. While Gustavsson came to Toronto with heaps of hype two years ago, it’s been as close to a disaster as it can be for him ever since.
His numbers are poor and they’ve been getting steadily worse. He had heart issues that prevented him from getting crucial starts to help him settle into the NHL and now that he is healthy, he’s a mediocre goalie. Fire up the worry machine in Toronto as well as the candlelight vigils for Reimer to get better soon. As coach Ron Wilson told James Mirtle of The Globe And Mail, Gustavsson getting a win in relief against Montreal might be the thing to help him settle in this time around.
Don’t expect Wilson’s words to settle down Leafs Nation, however.
Reimer is the key for how the Leafs season will go, but having a competent backup when things go slightly awry is important too. If Gustavsson can play like “The Monster” he was hailed as when he was signed and stuffs the Flyers tonight, perhaps heads can rest a little easier in Toronto. If he goes back to giving up goals on very stoppable shots, expect to hear the calls for Ben Scrivens or Jussi Rynnas to get a shot to be the backup to grow.