One year ago, Jonas Gustavsson couldn’t stop a beach ball as a netminder for the Toronto Maple Leafs. However, a short drive across the border and a change of scenery in Detroit has quietly restarted the 29-year-old’s career.
Nobody knows that better now than Devils’ center Adam Henrique.
Gustavsson split time with current Leafs goaltender James Reimer for three seasons from 2009-2012. Blame it on goalie coaching or Toronto’s shamelessly poor team defense, but “The Monster” — as he’s affectionately known — saw his save percentage drop below .900 as he only put together one winning record during his Toronto tenure (16-15 in 2009-10).
This season, though, Gustavsson is out from under the magnifying glass of the Toronto hockey media, and in the 10 starts he’s made backing up Red Wings’ regular and U.S. Olympic hopeful Jimmy Howard, Gustavsson is 8-0-1 with a .928 save percentage and a 2.04 GAA.
The Monster is back, and in the second period of Friday’s Red Wings-Devils tilt he made sure Henrique knew it. Henrique sent a bouncing puck from close quarters toward Gustavsson, but, while the biscuit made its way through Gustavsson’s pads, it never got to the net as The Monster channeled his inner Dominik Hasek by snapping his glove hand behind his back and slapping the puck away from danger.
Check out Gustavsson’s save of the year candidate below.