Tampa Bay Lightning (13-8-3, 29 pts) vs Toronto Maple Leafs @ ACC on Sportsnet, 7:00 PM ET
Tampa: Dan Ellis (5-4-3, 2.85 GAA)
Toronto: Jonas Gustavsson (3-6-1, 2.45 GAA)
Reason To Watch: I’m going to start off being honest, I’m having a shitty day and I’m taking my anger out on Jonas Gustavsson. While some of the things I may write my be unwarranted, I’ll try to be as fair as possible. Forget about stealing hockey games, he couldn’t rob a convenience store without forgetting something.
First, this guy is a hardly a “Monster”, he’s more like a “the Scared Giraffe” in net. Jonas may have the worst reaction time to rebounds in the history of the NHL. The opposing team will take an initial shot, he’ll make the safe and literally sit there for another full second contempleting where the puck may have gone.
Second, I know this guy gone thru a rough couple of years, losing both his parents, moving to a new country with a much different culture and language would be hard on anyone. Especially the goalie of a team of perpetual losers. Having said that (can’t wait for Curb Your Enthusiasm to comeback) maybe he’s just not cut out to deal with all the emotional toll and play in a pressure filled market. Clearly any small market team could look at what going on in his life and give him a chance if he’s actually that talented.
Third and finally, for a team that has problems scoring, they need a sturdy presence in the backend, so when they go down on the scoreboard, they’ll have the confidence that the lead won’t get any bigger. You can see on the road this season, when good teams set themselves apart, Gustavsson blows up. He’s 1-5-1 on the road with a 3.00 GAA with zero shutouts ( the guy does not have a shutout all year, even Rick DiPietro and Jonas Hedberg have one shutout) and recently had these violent outbursts that shows he’s lost his confidence.
So what does this all lead up to, a date with hockey’s must natural goal scorer since Brett Hull? maybe Teemu Selanne? in Steve Stamkos. I’m sure Stamkos will be a couple of steps closer to going 50 in 50 after tonight’s game versus “the Scared Giraffe”.