Leafs’ Gustavsson to miss 1-2 weeks

Jonas Gustavsson

Jonas Gustavsson

That Toronto Maple Leafs so-called goaltending controversy is over — at least until Jonas Gustavsson returns from the injured reserve list.

The 24-year-old rookie, who had started his first career NHL game on Tuesday against the Ottawa Senators, was shelved on Thursday to nurse a groin injury suffered during the 2-1 loss.

“I was examined yesterday, and they think I pulled it a little bit,” Gustavsson said at practice on Thursday. “So I’ll take it easy for a few days.”

Head coach Ron Wilson told reporters the Swedish netminder is expected to miss at least a week between the posts, but hopes to have him back and game-ready within 10 to 14 days.

Wilson had originally planned on rotating the goaltending duties over the next two games, but the injury to Gustavsson opens the door for Vesa Toskala to regain his confidence after being yanked from last Saturday’s game in Washington.

“Vesa is our number one goalie anyway and he’ll play until further notice,” Wilson said.  “This is an opportunity for him to take charge now without looking over his shoulder.”

When speaking to the media on Thursday, the veteran goalie acknowledged that he’ll have to be better, but didn’t seem too worried about his early results.

“I got one point in the first game [overtime loss to Montreal] and lost the second one,” Toskala said. “It’s only three games into the season and I’m working on being ready for the next one.”

Backing up Toskala will be Joey MacDonald, who signed with the Maple Leafs during the off-season.

The 6-foot native of Pictou, N.S., has experience with the New York Islanders, Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings, and made 32 saves in the Toronto Marlies’ season opener against the Hamilton Bulldogs last Sunday.

“I just want to come in and keep on playing like I did in training camp,” MacDonald said.  “Training camp wasn’t that long ago, and it’s good to be back and get the opportunity.”

The Maple Leafs will host the defending Stanley Cup-champion Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday at the Air Canada Centre.

NOTES: In 97 minutes played to date, Gustavsson has posted a .894 save percentage and a 3.09 goals-against average … Toskala will enter Saturday’s game with an .800 save percentage and a 4.94 goals-against in 85 minutes … Rookie forward Viktor Stalberg will not play Saturday against Pittsburgh. He left Tuesday’s game against Ottawa with concussion symptoms, and may be ready to play on Monday against the New York Rangers.

About this article

By: Luke Barry
Posted: Oct 8 2009 7:47 pm
Filed under: Hockey Local Sports Sports