Rally round the Monster

Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Jonas Gustavsson. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer

Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Jonas Gustavsson. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer

DAVE HILSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:14 AM ET

Toronto, ON - Jonas Gustavsson must feel like he lives in the twilight Zone. Prior to last weekend's game against the canadiens in Montreal, the lanky Swede was the forgotten man, a goaltender pushed into the anonymity of the backup role. the media didn't have much to say to him, and he probably felt the same way.

but an injury later -- and now three good games -- and all that has changed.

With starter James Reimer still out of the lineup as of Saturday night's game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, everybody wants a piece of the man they call the Monster.

"Nothing, same old (stuff)," a bashful Gustavsson quipped to a throng of reporters after the Leafs' Saturday morning skate when asked if anything was new.

Maybe they were just hoping Gustavsson would let more slip about reimer's condition after he dropped the concussion bomb a few days earlier when the Leafs hadn't even remotely suggested that was their No. 1 'keeper's problem.

No such luck, though, but Gustavsson did expound on what it's like to move in and out of the spotlight.

"It's weird, one day you're right in the middle and the next day you're looking at the other guy," he said. "there's always a competition going on between goalies. the goalie that gets the honour to play probably did a good job. the other goalie probably tried to get that game too. Of course, it's a team game and the two goalies belong to the same team as well."

OTTAWA APPEARANCE?

After getting his first home start of the season last night, it looks as if Gustavsson will also get the start Sunday in Ottawa against the Senators.

Leafs coach Ron Wilson said he was "doubtful" reimer, who was supposed to come off the injured reserve list following the Penguins game, would be playing against Ottawa.

"I'm not predicting that. but cause he (reimer) hasn't really practised, he's probably doubtful," Wilson said. "He's on the Ir, he'll come off after the game tonight. We'll see how he is."

Gustavsson had put in solid back-to-back performances prior to last night's game and played well again, so he'll likely get another chance to strut his stuff in Ottawa.

"I think the Monster has shown big strides in terms of his confidence. If he plays as well as I think he can tonight, he'll probably go tomorrow as well," Wilson said.


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