November 10, 2009
A .918 save percentage.
As a starter, it's even better: .924.
At home: an impressive .948. No doubt Jonas Gustavsson will play a significant role in making the Air Canada Centre a difficult place to play once again.
Shorthanded: a sublime .900. Up there with the big boys. Essentially: the anti-Vesa Toskala, who owns a .771 save percentage when there's four or fewer Toronto Maple Leafs in front of him. In Gustavsson's last four starts, the Leafs are 89% (16-18) on the penalty kill.
The formula is simple: Gustavsson makes saves; the Maple Leafs kill penalties; the Maple Leafs win.
Goaltending cures all. It triples Toronto's win total.
The sample size is small. But I can't help
think that Gustavsson will single-handedly lead the Leafs to the playoffs, and to the most improbable of Stanley Cup championships, winning the Conn Smythe, Calder and Vezina Trophies along the way, in a magical season the likes of which we'll never see again get my hopes up.