November 10, 2009

A Monster Indeed



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.

8 comments:

Hungry Leafs Fan said...

You forgot the Hart and Masterton too! The Monster gives us a chance to win every game. Not once has he let in a softie so far whereas Toskala was averaging as least one a game.

As good as Cujo and Eddie was for us, I have never loved a goalie as much as I did Potvin. If Gustavsson continues his solid play, he may very well overtake that role.

infieldfly said...

The Hart is clearly going to Phil Kessel and his 80 goals. Book it.

On The Fence Sports said...

I agree with you man!!! ;)

Starting to feel something special happening at the ACC. Not only with the Leafs but with the RAptors too. Wasn't happy with the Hedo thing but it seems like they are working hard to grind out wins. Hopefully both the Leafs and the Raptors host some postseason action.

onthefencesports.blogspot.com

Bhattorious said...

Finally......a goalie worth his weight in gold for Toronto....not since Eddie Belfour was in our nets have i seen a goalie that i thought is a starter in toronto....Raycrap...no....Toskala...never...wish we still had Rask, but eh, what can you do...

By the way..u still have that post where i mentioned out of Rask and Pogge, we let the wrong guy go.

Probably not, cause you hate when i am right.

Anyway, i am glad to see The Monster in a leaf uniform and i am enjoying leaf games again. Even if they lose, cause we all know its about rebuilding...and there is nowhere to go but up

40 said...

This season has already been such a crazy roller coaster! From huge expectations off the hop, to a horrible start, and now the Monster has gotten hopes of Leafs Nation back up. I can't take it! GO LEAFS GO!

eyebleaf said...

@ Hungry: Potvin came out of nowhere years ago. Gustavsson was highly touted, but I think it's an apt comparison. And good call on buying the Jonas jersey. Huge.

@ infieldfly: Kessel will win the Maurice Richard, Hart, Masterson, Lester B. Pearson and Selke Trophies. Suck it, Boston.

@ On The Fence: Gustavsson's numbers at home warm my heart the most. As for the Raptors, losing last night to San Antonio was unacceptable. 131 points, while they were missing Parker and Duncan? Fuck. Right. Off.

@ Bhatti: You're right BhattiBoy, I went back into the archives, found that Rask/Pogge comment, and deleted it, because I hate it when you're right. Jackass. Rask has put up decent numbers so far, a lot better than Pogge that's for sure. I think he'll be a solid goalie in the future. And don't forget that he was/is the better goalie. Rask was a first-rounder. Pogge went 90th overall. The expectations on Pogge were wrong from the get-go. I think they had a lot to do with being goalie at the World Juniors. I'm going to have a post up about junior goalies for Team Canada in the near future. In closing: you were right, but you said nothing groundbreaking, you BhattiBOY. And I hope Toskala never plays for the Leafs again. (The Leafs have a back-to-back this weekend. Which means Toskala is playing. Which means: fuck.)

@ 40: Without Kessel and Monster, this might have been the longest Leafs season ever. Let's hope the turnaround continues.

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