February 18, 2011
Gustavsson returns to practice
By MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency
TORONTO - Jonas Gustavsson is back on the ice.
The Monster surprised a number of onlookers when he stepped on to the ice on Friday for practice at the MasterCard Centre, given his recent heart issues.
But there he was, sporting a new streamlined hair cut, stopping pucks, stretching his muscles and being as competitive as ever.
“I didn’t feel as tired as I thought I would feel,” Gustavsson said after the workout. “It’s just about finding the timing to see the puck now. It shouldn’t take that long.”
Gustavsson could easily have been rattled by his latest bout with a heart condition that was first discovered in training camp last season. Even though he has now been tripped up by the condition on three different instances, Gustavsson remains composed on the issue, even after having a procedure done on Feb. 12.
“It hasn’t been too bad,” the young Swede said. “I’ve been riding the bike and that helped.”
Was he scared when the condition once again flared up?
“Maybe a bit but it’s a minor thing,” he said. “The doctors told me this might happen. Hopefully we’re done with it now.”
Coach Ron Wilson hopes Gustavsson can return to action sometime next week.
With goalies in the Maple Leafs organization spending more time in the infirmary than on the ice, young Ben Scrivens is going to be a busy man.
Scheduled to play for the AHL Marlies on Friday night, the Leafs planned on bringing him up to back up James Reimer when the Leafs face off against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday at the Air Canada Centre.
Bad enough that Gustavsson is out. But now, according to Wilson, they will be without J-S Giguere for another 7-10 days with a lower body injury suffered against the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday.
Marlies goalie Jussi Rynnas, meanwhile, is out four weeks with a broken finger.
Interestingly, Reimer and Scrivens become friends at training camp last September when they were No. 3 and No. 5, respectively, on the organization’s goaltending depth chart.
“He’s a fun guy,” Reimer said of Scrivens. “It will be great to have him here.
“We’re good buddies. We were hanging out during training camp.
“He’s a good western boy.”
Scrivens was 7-3-3 with a .927 save percentage and 2.27 goals-against average for the Marlies entering play on Friday.
the doctor’s office
Injured forwards Mike Brown and Colby Armstrong were both back on the ice on Friday itching for a return to action.
“I’m getting close,” Brown said of his shoulder injury. “I can’t wait to get back into a game.”
Armstrong, meanwhile, has yet to be cleared for physical contact. He’s been out with blurred vision.
“Getting closer,” he said. “Maybe next week.”
The trading of Tomas Kaberle left Nikolai Kulemin as the longest serving Leaf, at least in terms of games played.
Luke Schenn was second.
“It’s bizarre,” Schenn said. “Three years in and just the turnover that’s been here ever since I’ve been here. You’re getting new teammates in all the time ... you’re meeting new people. It feels like just yesterday I was just breaking in here and trying to figure things out for myself.
“It’s definitely a bit of a weird feeling knowing that you’re one of the last guys standing here since three years ago.”
Amstrong, for one, was impressed with the way Kaberle handled himself.
“He gets along well with everyone,” he said. “He’s probably one of the nicest guys ever. He always has a smile on his face. He’s the first guyhere in the morning all the time and he’s ready to go.
“You can’t say enough about him as a teammate and obviously his play on the ice.”
— Mike Zeisberger