January 17, 2011
Wilson changing Leaf goalies againMonster start in New York, getting Jiggy against Ducks
By LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency
This is one occasion when Ron Wilson will let sentiment get in the way of his lineup plans.
The Maple Leafs’ coach will grant veteran goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere’s request to play at home Thursday against the Anaheim Ducks, the team that traded him to Toronto almost a year ago. That will mean Jonas Gustavsson starts Wednesday in New York against the Rangers, his first game since the team’s near meltdown against the St. Louis Blues on Jan. 6.
“That (Anaheim game) is something I’ve looked forward to all year,” Giguere said Monday at the MasterCard Centre.
Giguere earned every right to play in Wednesday after making 32 stops in a 2-1 shootout loss to Calgary on Saturday, his first game back in a month from a groin injury. But Wilson will wait a day.
“It’s a big game for him and I certainly understand those (Anaheim) sentiments,” Wilson said, adding that Gutavsson would probably like another head-to-head against Swedish Olympic teammate Henrik Lundqvist of the Rangers.
Giguere was likely to sit one game this week anyway with Toronto playing three in four nights, capped by a home date against Washington on Saturday. Giguere said it will take him until the all-star break later this month to feel 100% physically and mentally comfortable testing the groin, but insisted he wanted no sympathy.
“I’m paid a lot of money ($6 million US a year) to take care of my body and come in and do the treatment I have to do. If you hear me complaining, slap me in the face.”
Wilson didn’t see much wrong with Giguere on Saturday and the goalie reported no pain from doing the full splits on a shot fired just wide by Jarome Iginla.
“I will have some natural reservations when he plays,” Wilson admitted of the times the injury flared up this season. “But we just keep on monitoring. It’s his job and the trainers’ to work hard off the ice and make sure he desn’t have any issues.”
Also coming back into the Leafs’ lineup Wednesday is winger Kris Versteeg, who sat the past two games with an upper body injury. That will reunite Versteeg, Colby Armstrong and Darryl Boyce. Call-up Marcel Mueller will likely stay and replace Brett Lebda on the fourth line, at least until Fredrik Sjostrom (charley horse) comes back later in the week or Saturday when Mike Brown’s three-game NHL suspension will be up.