Dodging a bullet
Jonathan Bernier is the expected starter in goal for the Maple Leafs, as they host the Detroit Red Wings tonight at Air Canada Centre.
James Reimer is healthy and will back up Bernier, this after Reimer tweaked his groin during Friday’s practice.
“It was something really minor,” Reimer said. “I came across in practice and just felt something that wasn’t quite right. Felt it out for the rest of practice, got off and got the opportunity to work on it. Today I feel fine.”
Reimer added that it has been over two years since he last had any sort of injury in that area. At practice, he wasn’t wearing anything to add support for effected area and described the injury as “superficial”.
Reimer is coming off his best start of the season on Wednesday, where he made 41 saves in a 2-1 shootout victory over Detroit.
A healthy Reimer ensures the Leafs maintain the depth they have established in goal.
There was a feeling that perhaps Bernier would be saved to play against his former team on Sunday. Career stats show, if the Leafs split the duties in net with Bernier starting tonight against Detroit, and Reimer suiting up against Los Angeles, the stats work best in that scenario.
Goalies Career Stats
James Reimer vs LA Kings: 2-0-1, .962 SAVE %, 1.45 GAA
Jonathan Bernier vs Detroit: 3-2-2, .971 SAVE %, 2.51 GAA
James Reimer vs Detroit: 1-3-0, .905 SAVE %, 3.21 GAA
Jonathan Bernier vs LA Kings: 0-1-0, .848 SAVE %, 3.83 GAA
Granted the sample size is small, and Reimer is coming off his best performance against Detroit on Wednesday. The right call is being made from a statistical standpoint.
One lineup change is possible, with Brandon Kozun sitting in place of Trevor Smith. Kozun was listed as an extra in yesterday’s practice, after making his return from an ankle injury on Wednesday.