Toronto Maple Leafs Goalies doing the Splits
Let the speculation begin, allow the fans to fill twitter with predictions, FAN590 Phones ringing off the hook because of the question; Who will be the Toronto Maple Leafs starting goalie October 1st?!
James Reimer has a fan following in Toronto like no other goalie in the last few years to don the Maple Leaf crested jersey. Jonas Gustavsson had many youtube pages dedicated to him and “Monster” twitter love, but when you look at “Optimus Reim” and his rabid followers it is becoming clear a line drawn in the sand among fans before the start of the season. Jonathan Bernier arrived in Toronto via trade and a price paid to get services. Starting goaltending is something fans and analysts alike chat about more during losing streaks than at the beginning of a season, however this is the story of the month for Leaf Nation.
So as a Toronto Maple Leaf fan do you
A) Want a starting Goalie Named and if So who?
B) Goalie Splits – Ride the Reim or Follow the Bern?
Statistical Look at Last Season
GAA: 1.88 | SVP: 0.922
GAA: 2.46 | SVP: 0.924
Attitude and Experience will be the Tale of the Tape for Toronto Maple Leafs Starting Goalie.
The experience that Bernier built by being back up shadow goalie to Jonathan Quick in Los Angeles will help him make an easy transition if the netminder lands in that role again. Media exposure like this is new for Bernier as he will be under the pressure cooker eye of Leafs Nation and the media throng that covers it, but it shouldn’t hinder him from sitting on the end of the bench if Reimer starts more games.
Attitude and adjustment out of both goaltenders not only in the media scrum but behind closed doors will keep Leafs Nation cool and collective. Any riff between the two goalies that appears in the public eye and media and fans will pounce on it like a loose puck.
A bright spot in any concern for conflict is James Reimer. Not once so far in the young “god guided” career of Reimer have we seen concern towards where he stands with the team. Previous friendships have grown with other goaltenders in the organization that tend to lean towards Reimer being a likeable team player. These observations being made from the outside looking in, but appear close to the truth. Reimer appears to follow a spiritual path off the ice that lends to his professional demeanor. Team performance in front of any given goalie is the sign of hockey chemistry and will also tell the tale of the tape when looking for that starting goalie.
The Incumbent has his Seat in the Toronto Maple Leaf Crease and it is his to lose.
As October is fast approaching the incumbent will have the seat to lose. James Reimer will emerge from pre-season and head into the season as the Leafs starting goalie. Toronto Maple Leafs had the second best penalty kill in the NHL last season and will continue to build on the coaching of Randy Carlyle to improve this stat further. A strong penalty kill is a great confidence builder for any young goalie tandem.
I think this goalie tandem will emerge as one of the most talked about in the NHL, young goalie talent like James Reimer and Jonathan Bernier will impress us throughout the season.