For the first time in nearly a decade, the Toronto Maple Leafs are headed to the postseason. Not bad for a team that wasn’t expected to do much in the Eastern Conference this year. Instead, they look like a team that is going to be a serious headache for anyone come playoff time.
There are a few different spots one could look to as a source of success for the Leafs this year. But there may be no other spot that has been more crucial to their success than between the pipes. James Reimer has brought stability to a position that sorely lacked it before the season.
Last summer and prior to the season, the Roberto Luongo rumors were hot and heavy for this team and they were constant. Reimer has put an end to those rumors for the most part thanks to a very good season, in a combination with first year goaltender Ben Scrivens.
Though the two have shared quite a bit of time, there has been no question who the man in the crease for the Leafs has been this year. It’s been Reimer. The questions that came with a season of a .900 save percentage and 3.10 GAA have been answered, and he’s managed to turn Bobby Lu into Bobby Who?
Reimer has been one of the better netminders in the entire league this year. He has a .926 save percentage and a 2.41 GAA, along with a pair of shutouts. He’s stolen games for the Leafs on more than one occasion and the fact that he’s only started 28 games should keep him fresh for the postseason.
The play of Reimer is just one aspect of what makes this Maple Leafs squad so dangerous heading into the postseason. Not only is he playing well, he has his confidence back. After a year in which he struggled with concussion issues and likely questioned whether or not there was a future for him in Toronto, that’s huge. Watch out for this team, and this goaltender, come playoff time.