The Underdog of the Week this week comes from the Detroit Red Wings. Jonas Gustavsson played in place of starter Jimmy Howard while he recovered from an injury. Many Red Wings fans were disappointed that they had to watch Gustavsson play. His style isn’t the best, especially when recovering from a save to stop the rebound. Let’s take a look at this goaltender who is Underdog of the Week.
Jonas Gustavsson is slow getting up from his first saves. He was set to play three straight games while Howard rested on the bench. The first game was against the Boston Bruins, who the Wings had battled hard in the preseason winning one game and losing one game to them. With Tuukka Rask in the net, it seemed the Wings wouldn’t win, but Gustavsson held on and helped lead the Red Wings to a 3-2 win, saving 28 shots.The next game was a day later against the Columbus Blue Jackets. It seemed like it was just luck that Gustavsson won a game, but he stood tall in the game against the Jackets. He ended the game with 36 saves, only allowing an amazing, Datsyukian-like coast-to-coast goal by Cam Atkinson. He played exceptionally well, making the big saves when he needed to. But this was nothing. His biggest win, and the reason he is the Underdog of the Week, is his third game.
The Red Wings traveled to Colorado to take on the undefeated Avalanche. They looked to take down their rivals and hand them their first loss of the season. Gustavsson helped hand the Avalanche their first loss, stopping 38 of 40 shots. He was on fire in his three games this season, and is looking to be a great backup goalie, one that wasn’t seen when he was in Toronto. He dominated the crease and has finally stepped up as the Red Wings’ second goaltender.
Jonas Gustavsson has a .953 save percentage, which is second in the league. He also has a 1.67 goals against average, which puts him 5th in the league. It looks like he will be the Ray Emery from last season. It will be nice to see him win a lot more games to give Howard a break, and that is why he is the Underdog of the Week.