Thursday, January 19, 2012

Gustavsson lays claim to the starting goalie job

It's becoming apparent that the Leafs will need to rely on Jonas Gustavsson the rest of the season if they are to qualify for the playoffs. Although Gustavsson's numbers are not stellar they are still better than those of James Reimer. Following tonight's 4-1 win over Minnesota, this is how the two goalies compare.

Record GAA SV%
Jonas Gustavsson 14-9-0 2.83 .908
James Reimer 7-5-4 3.01 .899

Both Gustavsson and Reimer faced a similar number of shots in their recent starts. Reimer allowed 3 goals on 20 shots while Gustavsson let in only 1 shot out of 21. Now the Senators are a better scoring team but it's not like Reimer faced such difficult shots. I would expect to see Gustavsson in net against the Canadiens this Saturday. Still the Monster can't help giving up a soft goal here and there. This one near the end of the game didn't matter but cost him a shutout. Still not sure how it got behind him.

Good - Once again Joffrey Lupul was real good. His three assist gave him the team scoring lead with 51 points and just 2 points short of his career high. Moving him from Kessel's line has no discernable impact on Lupul. The only goal he didn 't set up was a beauty of a goal by Joey Crabb.

Bad - I wouldn't say Kessel was bad. Afterall he scored his 25th goal of the season and had 5 shots on net. But I didn't find that he had good chemistry with Matthew Lombardi and on several occassions it appeared as if they almost ran into each other.

Good - Splitting up Kessel and Lupul gained huge coverage by the Toronto media but it seemed to have worked. At least it did against the anemic Wild. Montreal will provide a bit better of a test. So for now Ron Wilson looks like a coach pulling the right strings. It's inevitable they will be paired up again in the near future.

Bad - Although the Leafs directed 32 shots at the Wild net, they should have had so many more considering how much they controlled the puck. Yet as they have all season, the failed to get picks to the net.

Good - The penalty killers still haven't given up a goal in 2012. Yet the Leafs still stand 30th in the league in killing penalties. PArt of the reason is that they have taken very few penalties in the past 3 weeks.

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