As we’ve seen during their six-game winning streak, the Toronto Maple Leafs are one of the most dependent-on-goaltending teams in the NHL. If not for the outstanding play of Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer this season, the Leafs probably aren’t in a playoff position right now.
Statistically, Bernier has been the better of the two netminders, with a .927 save percentage in 36 games. But his partner has been almost as good, at .919 in 22 appearances.
Reimer, 25, is also a restricted free agent — a status that has led to questions for general manager Dave Nonis about next season.
“I haven’t thought that too far, but could I see a scenario where both goalies were back next season? Yes,” Nonis told the National Post yesterday. “We’ve gone this far because of our goaltending. Jon is on a bit of a roll, but James has been really good for us.”
Part of Nonis’s decision will depend on what he’s able to get for Reimer in a trade. The goalie market is a tough one to define. The Los Angeles Kings were only able to garner a third-round pick for Ben Scrivens. Granted, Reimer is two years younger and has more NHL experience than Scrivens.
As NP reporter Michael Traikos notes, “The Leafs, who still have control over Reimer, could re-sign him to a one-year deal at a number similar to what Bernier is making. But with Phil Kessel and Dion Phaneuf both getting significant raises next season and several key players heading for free agency (Jake Gardiner, Cody Franson, Dave Bolland), bringing back Reimer will not be easy.”
Breaking: the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers don’t like each other.
The stakes might be higher for the Penguins than the Flyers – aside from those who still believe Philly has a shot at a playoff run – their rivalry rarely subsides.
With that in mind, it’s no surprise that Sunday featured at least one fight, with Cameron Gaunce squaring off against Brandon Manning in a pretty spirited bout.
Manning isn’t shy about fighting, by the way; this was his seventh bout of the season, according to Hockey Fights.
Higher on the radar for the Penguins is the situation for Conor Sheary, who has been absent from the ice since about midway through the first period. PHT will keep an eye out for updates on what could be yet another injury for the health-challenged Pens.
Life is difficult, complex and confusing. Good thing we have dog videos.
Forgive this video being one night late, but for those of us who watch cute animal clips, time is a furry circle. Or something like that.
Anyway, this golden retriever got a little “ice time” before the Washington Capitals’ game against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday in what would end up being a 4-1 win for the Caps. It’s an excellent video featuring a top-notch, hilarious pooch.
Alternate joke: Now that is some puck retrieval.
Patrik Laine and Auston Matthews are locked with identical goals (34), assists (27) and points (61) on Sunday, which is remarkable since Laine has played in 67 games versus 75 for Matthews. He won’t get a chance to beef up his numbers on Sunday, either.
It looks like the high-scoring rookie is missing the Winnipeg Jets’ contest against the Vancouver Canucks because of an illness, according to TSN’s Sara Orlesky.
The Jets are almost assured to miss the playoffs, so seeing Laine lose a chance to bolster his Calder argument adds a little extra sadness to the night.
The NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced a Monday hearing for San Jose Sharks tough guy Micheal Haley for his “roughing/sucker punch” on Calle Jarnkrok of the Nashville Predators.
The league didn’t specify if Haley will face a telephone or in-person hearing on Monday afternoon. They did, interestingly, use the phrase “sucker punch” in that official announcement.
Haley received a match penalty during the game. Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer was highly upset about the hit that inspired Haley’s actions.
“When you run someone from behind in a game like that, you probably deserve to get a punch in the mouth,” DeBoer told reporters.
In other bad news for the Sharks, CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz reports that Logan Couture‘s situation isn’t looking promising after he was hurt on Sunday.