Toronto Wins Third Straight, But Goalie Questions Remain

USATSI_8926576_154158418_lowresIt’s not normally news when a hockey team wins three straight games, but it news when the Toronto Maple Leafs win three straight games.

That’s right, the Maple Leafs picked up their third straight win when the knocked off the Vancouver Canucks by a final score of 4-2 on Saturday night. What’s more, T-Dot has collected points in six of seven games after racking up just four points in their first 10 games.

So what’s causing this sudden change in fortune?

For one thing, goalie James Reimer has been a big part of this team’s winning ways. He’s started in seven consecutive games and has a 5-2-3 record on the season with a .925 save percentage. He made 43 saves against the Canucks for Saturday’s win.

This is Toronto’s first three game winning streak since December of 2014, to put things in perspective. That streak went down just a few days before the firing of head coach Randy Carlyle, by the way.

That’s not to say that all is well in Leafdom, as there is goalie controversy amid all this winning business. Reimer, for his spectacular play, is fighting for his spot against Jonathan Bernier. Bernier has seen action in seven games this season and hasn’t posted a single win, delivering a .899 save percentage.

But the Leafs, to their credit, have been riding the hot hand by giving Reimer so many straight starts. This is in large part due to a lower body injury to Bernier, but it also has to do with how well Reimer’s been playing and that could translate into a clear decision on who the starter is. Right?

Toronto has, at least from a management standpoint, supported Bernier since the start of the season. They picked him up in 2013 via a trade with the Los Angeles Kings and inked him to a two year deal this summer to the tune of $8.3 million.

Reimer, meanwhile, is in the final year of his deal and will be an unrestricted free agent come this summer unless and until the Maple Leafs do something.

Bernier has had trouble starting and allowed two opening-shot goals this year. He’s seen his stats trend downward just as Reimer has seen his trend up. Will this be enough for Toronto to make a decision?


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