It might not be safe to assume that James Reimer will be Jonathan Bernier’s backup in Toronto just yet.
Reimer was absolute magnificent for the Maple Leafs on Tuesday, especially compared to Minnesota Wild netminder Darcy Kuemper. The Wild generated a whopping 37-14 shot disparity, yet they were only able to beat Reimer once, as the Leafs won 4-1.
Jason Pominville was the lone goal-scorer for Minnesota in the first period of tonight’s game, even though the Wild dominated that frame the most with a ridiculous 17-3 shot advantage. Worse yet … the Leafs scored on two of those three shots.
Josh Harding had been playing well in Niklas Backstrom’s injury-driven absence; when you combine that with Kuemper’s disastrous night, many will question frequently-doubted head coach Mike Yeo. Still, it’s important to note that Harding played on Monday and that the Wild might have his serious health challenges in mind.
Regardless, the Leafs remain a captivating team to follow, as they continue to defy the odds – and stat nerds – by winning games by some combination of luck, quality scoring chances and lights-out goaltending.
Can the Reimer – Bernier battle sustain them to another playoff run? With an NHL-leading 12 points in seven games, the Buds certainly have a great head start.
Head coach Randy Carlyle isn’t complaining this time around, as Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reports.
“Not every win is going to be a work of art,” Carlyle said.
It was a masterpiece for Reimer’s fans, though.