Goaltender Watch: Where Will The Toronto Maple Leafs Go From Here?
With goaltending notables such as Tomas Vokoun, Tim Thomas and Martin Brodeur now off of the table, everyone in Leafs Nation is wondering what the best possible goaltending option for the Toronto Maple Leafs is for next season.
Brian Burke has already told the media that he will not overpay for a number one goaltender and that he still has faith in James Reimer to be the future netminder going forward. If Burke is offered a quality goaltender in exchange for two assets or so, it’s debatable as to whether he’ll want to give up so much. Considering Leaf fans want playoffs and they want them now, you would figure Burke would pull off a trade for a goaltender in order to avoid having an even hotter seat.
Let’s take a look at the goaltending help that could come from inside the organization.
James Reimer (Drafted by the Maple Leafs in 2006 (4/99):
Winning a stellar 20 games down the stretch of the Maple Leafs’ 2010-2011 season, mouths gaped open in disbelief from all over the NHL. When it looked like the Leafs’ playoff hopes were no longer plausible, Reimer stepped into the limelight and almost carried the Leafs to their first playoff birth since 2004. Even more impressive was the fact that he posted a 2.60 goals against average over that run despite playing behind a defense corps that was notorious for turning the puck over.
With this all said and done, it looked like the Leafs had found their number one going forward. The next season, Reimer returned between the pipes and looked as good as always until suffering a neck injury from the knee of Brian Gionta on October 22. Although some speculate it was a concussion, it has been recently confirmed by doctors that it was in fact a neck injury. This is very good news for Leafs’ fans, especially since he has been symptom-free this entire off-season.
Once he returned from injury, he never quite found his groove again and finished the season with a .500 record. With his goals against average still a decent 2.83 during his first two partial NHL seasons and being healthy again, Reimer looks like he could reclaim the throne.
He has been working out very diligently and has been described as seeming more determined than ever.
Ben Scrivens (Undrafted free agent signed by the Maple Leafs in 2010):
Throughout Scrivens’ career as a goaltender, it seems he has seen nothing but success.
It all started at Cornell in the ECAC where he posted a GAA of 1.93 over four seasons. Making the jump to the AHL, he finished first in regular season GAA with a 2.04 average and took his Marlies all the way to the Calder Cup Final this past season.
His 12-game NHL tryout left many things to be desired (3.13 GAA and .903 save percentage), but those numbers aren’t as mediocre as they could have been. If he were to get a real shot in the NHL this year and play 20-30 games, we could possibly see him show us why he won’t go away despite all of the Reimer and Luongo talk.
Scrivens is still only 25 years old and the future is looking bright for this young netminder.