Just two days before the trade deadline, and with the Maple Leafs on the way to their first playoff appearance since before the last lockout, Toronto general manager Dave Nonis didn’t sound like a man desperate to acquire a goalie.
For that matter, he didn’t sound desperate to add much of anything.
“It’s not a priority,” Nonis said today when asked about the importance of adding a goalie. “It’s the same as every other position. If we can add a goaltender that strengthens our group and helps the guys that we have here, then we would look to do it. If not, as we’ve said all along, we think we have two NHL-caliber goalies. They’ve proved that so far this year, and goaltending hasn’t been an issue. So it’s really not any different than any other position… It’s not like we’re not comfortable with the two players in net. They’ve done a good job both of them.”
After numerous seasons that featured problems between the pipes, goalies James Reimer and Ben Scrivens have teamed up to give the Leafs a .916 save percentage, the eighth-highest in the NHL.
The last time the Leafs could say their goaltending was better than average was back in the days of Ed Belfour, around a decade ago.
So while there’s been no shortage of speculation involving Roberto Luongo, Miikka Kiprusoff and others, Nonis may end up standing pat.
In 22 appearances this season, 25-year-old Reimer is 13-4-4 with a .920 save percentage.
“He seems to be getting more comfortable in the net right now,” said Nonis. “His play has been very good. There’s no reason why that can’t continue. Even if we brought another goaltender in, James has done a good job to show us he can play a lot of games and play at a high level.”
With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.
Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.
Phaneuf burned on Zetterberg game-winner in Sens debut
“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”
Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.
Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.
DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.
Blashill says DeKeyser has a bruise, not a break. Will know more tomorrow, but probably day-to-day