|With Maple Leafs goaltender J-S Giguere out with injury, backup Jonas Gustavsson will take over the spotlight for now. (DARREN BROWN/QMI Agency)
TORONTO - In the short term anyway, J-S Giguere’s pain may be Jonas Gustavsson’s gain.
The Monster inherits temporary control of the Leafs’ starting goaltending position with Giguere recovering from what the team is calling a minor groin strain. He's expected to be out one to two weeks.
Giguere, who left Tuesday’s game against Nashville with 13:10 remaining, did not practise with the team on Wednesday morning. In the interim, James Reimer has been recalled from the Toronto Marlies as the Leafs' backup.
“He’ll have an MRI and determine how long it takes,” Leafs coach Ron Wilson said of Giguere. "You can’t really tell. It’s up to the goalie and how he feels coming out of that.
“Jonas went in last night and played unbelievable. He had to make two or three big saves and that’s hard when you are a big man and that wait, two hours when you were last on the ice. He did a phenomenal job.
“We think it’s 1 and 1A. We’ve gone a little more with Jiggy but I see no reason why Jonas can’t establish himself here.”
The Leafs went through a brisk workout on Wednesday looking to build off the strong effort of their past two games. The team is back in action Thursday against the struggling New Jersey Devils before travelling to Montreal Saturday for a date with the Canadiens and the warmup to Sunday’s CFL Eastern final between the Argos and Alouettes.
Defenceman Francois Beauchemin left shortly after the practice began while centre Tim Brent didn’t skate at all.
“Just maintenance stuff,” Wilson said. “Timmy blocked a shot and he’ll be all right for tomorrow.”
Elsewhere around the Leafs, captain Dion Phaneuf spoke with the media for the first time since suffering a serious gash to his leg on Nov. 2. Besides the three-hour surgery to repair the damage, Phaenuf suffered from an allergic reaction to medication.
The worst feeling might have been when he first saw the damage.
“When you pull your pant leg up and you can see inside your leg, it’s not a very good feeling,” Phaneuf said.