January 19, 2010
Leafs solve dynamic duo
By LANCE HORNBY, QMI AGENCY
NASHVILLE -- Barry Trotz started the day talking up his goaltending, but it was Ron Wilson who had the superior stopper in the end.
The Leafs put a total of four goals past Nashville starter Pekka Rinne and reliever Dan Ellis on Monday night, arguably the best 1-2 punch in the NHL.
Rinne was beaten on the first shot he faced and by three of Toronto's first eight. Ellis made big stops on Jason Blake and Lee Stempniak, before Phil Kessel won it for Toronto starter Jonas Gustavsson.
The difficulty for Gustavsson and Vesa Toskala has been to win more than one in a row, which hasn't happened for either since Toskala beat Washington and Ottawa Dec. 12 and 14. Wilson liked Gustavsson's 27 saves Monday, while the veteran Toskala has a great record against Tuesday's foe, the Atlanta Thrashers.
"Essentially every day, they have to battle for ice time and then how they play determines if they play the next game," Wilson said. "But it's hard to manage that when we play so many back-to-back games. In really tough stretches, you have to have both goalies playing well, no matter what."