What to do with Reimer?

News this morning out of Toronto is that J.S. Giguere is ready to play and James Reimer is being returned to the Marlies immediately. This strikes me as odd given how poorly Giguere and Gustavsson have played this year but perhaps it’s unfair to give James Reimer the reins based on such a small sample size. To that end I wanted to see how Giguere and Gustavsson’s best three game sample (to match Reimer’s tenure) stacked up to Reimer’s play.

Here are our three goaltenders save percentages on a game by game basis in order, color coded for easy reading. Green means a save percentage of 0.910 or higher and is a pretty low bar to shoot for in my opinion. Yellow is anything under .910 but above .890, in my opinion this is "crummy but not a disaster". Red is anything under .890 which is pretty bad.

Both Reimer and Gustavsson’s ‘1’s are misleading, they both came in relief for short stretches where each goalie made six saves on six shots and the team lost. If we remove the 0.967 Gustavsson got against the New Jersey Devils he hasn’t stopped .910 or better since November 22nd against the Dallas Stars.

If we look at a goalie’s best three games in order and aggregate their save percentage we see:

  • JS Giguere’s best three game set is games 15-17 which even out to a 0.920.
  • Jonas Gustavsson‘s best three game set is games 6-8 which even out to a 0.960.
  • James Reimer‘s best three game set are games 2-4 which even out to a .957.

What about the worst though? Obviously due to small sample size Reimer only has the three games of data, but his worst single game is a 0.932.

  • JS Giguere’s worst three game set is games 11-13 which saw him rack up an 0.847.
  • Jonas Gustavsson‘s worst three game set is games 16-18 which saw him rack up an 0.836. He also had an 0.838 in games 13-15.

Hopefully sending Reimer back to the Marlies is a shrewd move. Perhaps he was due to cool off and getting him back into the AHL means he can continue polishing his game with the new confidence of dominating the NHL. Perhaps Burke is looking forward and not jeopardizing development for short term gains.

Hopefully. Because right now Gustavsson and GIguere are both providing terrible goaltending. Gustavsson’s chance to prove he’s a starter is slipping through his fingers right now and for both his and the Leafs’ sake let’s hope this is a sophomore slump before he figures it out.

  • CoryNewb

    The small sample size does make it very tough. But a very good read indeed. It was only a matter of time before he had a .800 or .850 game and got yanked. It happens to the best of them (see: Martin Brodeur). I have a good feeling that within a couple years, Reimer could make a difference. If Jonas or J.S. go down this season, and Reimer comes back and keeps a similar pace, we will see who our 1-2 combo is next year.

    Over at CapGeek.com, I read that J.S. will be an UFA at the end of this year (6 scmhill), and the Monster will be up after next year (1.3 schmill). Could be interesting to see what Burke does at the end of this season.