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Giguere mentoring Monster

Perhaps, the most important move in Jonas Gustavsson’s fledgling hockey career didn’t take place on the ice.

Perhaps, the most important move in Jonas Gustavsson’s fledgling hockey career didn’t take place on the ice.

It possibly occurred in the Maple Leafs’ dressing room when goaltending coach Francois Allaire shifted Gustavsson’s locker from across the room to the one beside newcomer Jean-Sebastien Giguere after the veteran arrived in a late January trade with Anaheim.

Gustavsson jokes that it’s better for conversation to have the “two most clever guys” sitting next to each other but it is no coincidence that the rookie has played some of his best hockey since taking up residence next to the 12-year NHLer at both the Air Canada Centre and the team’s practice facility.

Rather than feeling threatened by a partner who was won four straight, Giguere has become a mentor for a freshman who is trying to develop a similar style of netminding under Allaire.

“It’s important to be a team within the team,” says Giguere, who clearly did not graduate from the Ed Belfour school of looking out for No.1.

“No one else knows what we’re going through on a daily basis. I think it’s important for us to support each other. You can’t do that when you’re across from each other in the dressing room. I think it’s important that you talk to each other. I’ll ask him if he thought I made a mistake or the other way around. Stuff like that.”