Leafs 2, Devils 3...Whatever...

While a game vs an opponent also eliminated from contention may seem meaningless, it was made even more so by the decision to consign Leaf goaltender Jonas Gustavsson to the press box and give outgoing veteran J.S. Giguere the nod to start the 3rd last night in New Jersey...

Giguere didn't embarrass himself, or his coach this time out, but the fact that his future in Toronto next season is both questionable and of little value to the team leads one to wonder why Jonas Gustavsson, a very good goalie who has worked hard to overcome both his health issues and the resulting demotion, was not given the shot. Has Wilson or Burke given up on him? Are there other issues we are not privy to? Surely, a mid-week road game vs a team also out of the picture would have been the ideal time to give him a shot at redemption, but Coach Wilson elected to play the guy he has ridden like a rented mule since January, when it mattered least. Not playing cyber-coach here, just echoing the sentiments of a confused Nation.

There will be no better time to get a look at him this season, with one game left vs. a sworn enemy in the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night. The final outing is a pride-match, and Wilson's decision to yank Reimer in Jersey likely has more to do with resting his star keeper to preserve his mental focus and energy for the weekend than anything. That makes sense...the other part of this equation is for brighter minds than yours or mine, I suppose...

Back to the least meaningful game of the season...Jersey scored three meaningless goals in front of half a rink of Devils fans and a smattering of Leaf supporters. Restricted free agent Zach Parise, a likely gem in the off-season (if he doesn't get re-signed), watched from the press box. As he looked on, the Leafs roared back with a pair in the third, giving Kessel a personal best as a Leaf with 31, as well as Bozak's 15th on a shorthanded 5-on-3 breakaway. Coupla nice goals, and the team proved once again that they can battle back, which is a great sign of things to come.

With reports circulating that Joe (Jumbo Jr.) Colborne may get a cameo vs the hated Habs on Saturday, the final game may prove to be the most viewed pre-playoff match all season on HNIC.

You have to wonder where Jonas Gustavsson has gone, or is going. Is seems he may be heading the way of Justin Pogge, once thought to be a shoo-in to lead the Leafs to glory from between the pipes. The future starter and former top prospect was sequestered into obscurity in the Carolina system, never to be seen again save for a handful of Youtube videos of him in practice. Gustavsson had similar assets, and possibly liabilities. He has size, athletics, talent and a great work ethic, as did (does?) Pogge. As Burke announced his trade to Anaheim 2 seasons ago, he explained that the key piece he didn't appear to have was the mentality a goalie needs to play in the NHL, and specifically, the volatile Toronto hockey market. With each smashing of a goal stick, Gustavsson aligned himself more closely with Pogge than the elite class of former Leaf goalies such as Potvin, Joseph and Belfour he'd like to one be named with. That distinction appears to going to James Reimer, and deservedly so.

I'm guessing that Gustavsson is spare parts going forward, and will likely be parcelled off in a package deal for either an impact forward (read again, please-no, Gustavsson does not fetch a top 6 FW), or a chance to jump up in the draft. Either way, he's a bargaining chip.

In Marlies news, Gregg McKegg has been signed to the Toronto organization, and will likely report to the Marlies for their Saturday game vs the Rochester Americans. McKegg had a whopping 49 goals and 92 points with the Erie Otters this season, finish a +20 on the year.