It might just be a matter of days — if that — before Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender James Reimer returns from a knee injury.
Leafs coach Randy Carlyle wouldn’t dismiss the possibility of Reimer returning for Monday’s game after the 24-year-old netminder took part in Sunday’s full practice, according to TSN.
Whether or not Reimer is available Monday is one thing, but perhaps the bigger question at this point is how the Leafs’ goaltending situation will work out once he’s healthy.
Reimer has gotten off to a superb start this season and put behind his rough 2011-12 sophomore campaign in the process. However, Scrivens has, for the most part, been just as good in relief.
So do the Maple Leafs have a clear number one goaltender right now?
“One-A and 1B. That’s basically the way we’ll deal with it,” said Carlyle, according to the National Post. “If one guy gets hot, he’ll have a chance to run with it.”
Carlyle is hoping that there will be healthy competition without this devolving into a controversy.
Both netminders are young and neither came into this season as an established starter, so that probably will help avoid the controversies that can stem from a goaltender getting fewer starts than his reputation or contract warrants.
By the same token, both netminders still have a lot to prove and it’s too easy to assume that either is a safe bet to maintain anything close to this pace for the full season.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.