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Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Monster returning to form, Leafs veterans return for win

Though Jonas G has backstopped the Leafs to many victories this season, the vast majority of them were helped by a barrage of Maple Leafs goals whenever Monster was in front of the twine. It didn't bode well for the playoffs, when things tighten up and leaky goalies start golfing.

Well, I will be the first to admit that I have not been a fan of Jonas Gustavsson ever since the two heart surgeries appeared to take away his confidence and vitality. Perhaps we can call this the "Jason Blake Syndrome" as JB never regained his scorer's touch / hunger for goals after he got hit with cancer, and it seemed top me that JG was at risk of never reverting to the form he displayed in his rookie year.

With The Monster scaring opponents, Rynnas needs to be moved soon

Okay... I sit corrected yet again. Jonas won last night's game for the Buds, and I am grateful for that, and am also grateful for the patience and trust shown in Jonas by Leafs management, as I would likely have moved him months ago. My belief is that the Leafs currently have at least 4 NHL-calibre goalies (Optimus, Monster, Scrivens, Owuya), with the potential for 5 to 6 if Rynnas and Sparks continue to improve. With Gustavsson clearly rounding into top form, the time to move Rynnas is fast approaching.

Owuya's promotion a key to Marlies' Calder Cup aspirations

Mark Owuya lead the Swedish elite league in save percentage last year, as a rookie! As of now, he has the best GAA and the second best save percentage in the entire American Hockey League however he just dropped off the chart as he only has ten games and there is now an 11 game minimum. Considering that he is statistically one of the top two goalies (the other is Cedric Desjardins) in the AHL, it is crucial for Mark Owuya's progress and value for him to be back in the AHL soon. He's an NHL goalie, so having him ride the buses in the ECHL may have been a good character-building exercise, yet now the Marlies can use his winning ways and he is showing every indication he and Scrivens can lead them to a Calder Cup.

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