Oct 27, 2009

Monster saves RW's job!

Jonas Gustavsson, aka, the Monster, may have won a hockey game last night in Anaheim, but more importantly he may just have saved Ron Wilson's job.

Backstopping a team that was "struggling" to say the least, and a team with a penchant for falling behind, the Monster stoned Teemu Selanne with a gutsy poke-check at the side of the net in the early minutes. Moments later he made the save of the night with a sprawling post to post pad save of an Erik Christensen one timer, much to the chagrin of the less than full Honda Center.

The Leafs fragile make-up was still evident as they did give up the first goal for the 9th consecutive game, but something was changing, and for those of us with eyes to see, it was visible. Gustavsson would not be beat easily, nor would he allow a soft goal on this night. Instead the message was clearly sent to his mates, we have a chance to win on this night! No soft goals, no two goal deficits...only timely saves when his teammates needed them most.

I've heard more than one pundit over the last few weeks use the cliche, "show me a good goaltender and I'll show you a smart coach!"

“Monster save by Jonas Gustavsson that was the game breaker in Toronto’s 6-3 victory over the Ducks

For one night at least, Leaf fans, management and their coach, can feel that they do know what they are doing and they do have a plan.

On this morning RW is once again a smart coach, having his defense in the right positon, his line combos exquisite, the power play finely tuned, while potting a bushelfull of goals, all under his watchful eye, using his system. Oh yes, coach Wilson was pleased last night.

For this one morning there will be no talk of why certain players, including Gustavsson, were not in the opening day line-up. No, instead the talk will turn to what went right when the Monster single handedly took the proverbial 800 lb. gorilla and shucked it aside.

Years ago, there was a bumper sticker made popular in Boston that read, "Jesus saves, but Espo scores!"

On this night it might be apropos to say, Jonas saves pucks and RW too!

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