Jonas Gustavsson may not have lived up to his nickname “The Monster” with the Toronto Maple Leafs, but that hasn’t stopped yet another great spin on it by his long-time painter.
Dave Gunarsson of Daveart.com presented his latest take on The Monster, and it is a perfect fit for Gustavsson’s new team, the Detroit Red Wings, paying homage its proud history as the Motor City.
“The V8 Monster Hot Rod,” Gunarsson labelled it.
“Since Jonas is the Monster, and Detroit is the motor city, we transformed the mask into a living monster hot rod,” Gunarsson wrote on his Facebook page. “So many details all over the mask, the windscreen is the eyes in the forehead, and the mouth on the bumper on the chin, and Red Wings paint job on the hood.” “And a big bad V8 engine with big exhaust pipes on the sides.”
Gunarsson presented a collage of the mask on Facebook Wednesday, at the same time sending bigger close ups of each side to InGoal:
Gunarsson also included the Detroit skyline in the background of a traffic light “showing green, ready…gooo! Burnout …”
Red Wings fans are certainly hoping it’s the only burnout Gustavsson experiences in Detroit after failing to live up to the hype – much of it unfair, but also of his or his agent’s creation after a much-publicized North American tour to choose a team after becoming a YouTube sensation and highly sought-after Swedish free agent – during three seasons in Toronto.
The 27-year-old finished 39-45 with a 2.98 goals-against average over three seasons with the Maple Leafs, winning a team-high 17 games with a team-low 2.92 goals-against average last season. Now he’s in Detroit to backup Jimmy Howard and hopefully revive a career after some observers felt his athleticism stagnated under the the blocking style taught in Toronto by Francois Allaire.
Style wasn’t among the many interesting thoughts on Toronto that Gustavsson shared with Swedish newspaper Expressen this week, which when translated (by google) appeared to place some of the blame for admittedly unrealistic expectations on the media:
“It is perceived as goalkeepers fluctuate more because it’s so much more focus in such a city. If James Reimer had played in a minor hockey crazy town, he had probably been fully approved for both of his seasons in the NHL. Maybe not that he had been raised to the skies first year, and maybe got a little more praise second year. He is a solid good goalkeeper who is on the way up. But in Toronto would be either shelf or lower. The large crowd might follow the media even if you do not know what is going on. …
“It is tougher than what you yourself think sometimes. Even if you think you have control over all the pieces and try to block it out, it’s clear that you may be affected. It is something you learn over the years, to put perspective on things. Sure, hockey is a big part of life and that it is almost more than anything, but there are other things in life that are just as important, if not more important.”
With all that behind him, it will be interesting to see how Gustavsson makes out in Detroit. No matter how he plays, though, he’ll look good, thanks to a great nickname and an even better painter.