When Maple Leaf goaltender James Reimer went down with what turned out to be a mild MCL strain on February 11th, Leaf nation let out a collective groan. The Maple Leafs had raced out to a quick start in the lockout shortened season thanks to a stunning road record and consistent play from a revitalized James Reimer in goal. With Reimer settling into a nice groove, the Leafs were playing great hockey and it looked like Toronto’s playoff chances rested on his shoulders. Fast forward a week with “back-up” goaltender Ben Scrivens having tended the pipes and all of a sudden there’s no rush for Reimer to come back.
Cornell alumni Ben Scrivens has been outstanding. His 2012-13 campaign as a whole has been remarkable with a 3-3 record to go along with a .927 SV% and sparkling 2.24 GAA (statistics which are nearly on par with Reimer’s .929 SV% and 2.31 SV%). However, since Reimer went down and Scrivens was handed the #1 tag, he has truly elevated his game to a whole new level. Since taking over for Reimer midway through the game against Philadelphia on February 11th, Ben Scrivens has faced exactly 100 shots and he’s turned aside 96 of them. That translates to a sparkling save percentage of .960!
Forget the Maple Leaf goaltending controversy involving a potential trade for Roberto Luongo. Maple Leaf management will have their hands full with a domestic goaltending controversy when they have to decide whether or not to stick with the red-hot Ben Scrivens when James Reimer returns from injury within the next week. Scrivens has given Leaf management the luxury of not having to rush Reimer back to the ice. If Scrivens can keep up his solid play between the pipes Reimer will definitely be riding the pine when he rejoins the team. Toronto takes on the Florida Panthers tonight at 7:30 PM EST in hopes of continuing their 1-game winning streak.
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