Sorry to ruin your Saturday, but it looks like John Mitchell will be returning to the Leafs lineup tonight against the Buffalo Sabres. Mitchell has been out with a knee injury since early January, and will likely take the spot vacated by Darryl Boyce. I would guess that Tim Brent, true Canadian hero, will move up to center the third line. Sorry for the scare. Looks like Boyce will be in the lineup tonight.
The other big news of the day is the reaction to Jonas Gustavsson's conditioning stint. The Marlies play seven games over the next two weeks which will give Gustavsson ample time to work on his mental game (something he won't get with the Leafs at the moment). The reaction from around the locker room, as noted by James Mirtle yesterday, was positive:
Giguere talked at length about the situation today, too, and he said he believes Gustavsson has handled the situation well and that he'll benefit from some time in the minors. He said being mentally prepared is as important as anything when you play goal in the NHL and that having a poor stretch can take any young goaltender off his game.
"Lord knows I've been there before," Giguere said. "This league will eat you alive."
The important thing to keep in mind with Gustavsson is that the decision on who is the Leafs' goalie moving forward does not have to be made this season. The Leafs are out of the playoffs and there's no need to anoint "the guy" right now. The battle for the #1 job will happen next fall and the current handling of Gustavsson is one with the future, not the present, in mind.
Allaire offers thoughts on Gustavsson
Jonas Siegel nabs an interview with the guru
Blue Chip Prospects returns with a look at the crowded Leafs net
Prime example of not getting it
I'm not sure if this has ever happened before, but Gabe defends the Leafs and PPP!