Tag: Christopher Gibson

Toronto Maple Leafs v Dallas Stars

Bernier to return when Leafs visit Boston Wednesday


The Toronto Maple Leafs will have goaltender Jonathan Bernier in the lineup Wednesday when they visit the Boston Bruins.

Bernier has missed two games due to the flu.

James Reimer started both games in Bernier’s absence losing 6-4 to the Florida Panthers on Sunday night and 3-2 to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday.

Christopher Gibson, who backed up Reimer in both games, has been reassigned to the American Hockey League’s Toronto Marlies.

Bernier is 14-8-3 this season while posting a 2.65 G.A.A. and a .921 save percentage.

Report: Bernier travelling with Leafs to Tampa Bay

Jonathan Bernier

Jonathan Bernier travelled with his Leafs teammates this morning as the team headed for Tampa Bay where they play the Lightning tonight in the second half of a back-to-back.

Bernier missed Sunday’s 6-4 loss to the Florida Panthers with flu-like symptoms.

Leafs’ coach Randy Carlyle admitted prior to last night’s game that the team was being cautious as one of the issues the team is concerned about is the mumps.

No member of the Leafs’ team has been diagnosed with the mumps this season.

Rookie Christopher Gibson was recalled to backup James Reimer in Sunday night’s loss.

The Leafs are 1-2-0 on their current eight-game road trip.

Leafs place Komarov on IR (Updated)

Pittsburgh Penguins v Toronto Maple Leafs
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The Toronto Maple Leafs have placed forward Leo Komarov on injured reserve and recalled goaltender Christopher Gibson from the American Hockey League’s Toronto Marlies.

Komarov has been sidelined with a concussion since taking a hit from Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin on Nov. 29.

The 27-year-old forward has four goals and 16 points in 23 games this season.

The move was made, in part, to free up a roster spot to recall Gibson.

Gibson, 22, is 6-9-2 with a 2.52 G.A.A. and a .919 save percentage in 17 AHL games this season.

Magnus Hellberg was the first goalie drafted in 2011 (by Nashville in Round 2)

Pekka Rinne, Anders Lindback

For many decades, it was very rare to see a goalie drafted early in the first round. Whether you attribute that to the mere fact that goalies make up a small portion of a typical NHL roster (two to three goalies compared to at least 12 forwards and at least six defensemen) or the notion that netminders are tough nuts to crack, the hesitation to make big gambles on the important position was palpable for quite some time.

The last couple decades ushered in a new era in which teams seemed more willing to roll the dice with high-end picks in net. The Dallas Stars surprised many by picking cocky American goalie Jack Campbell with the 11th overall pick in 2010. The Nashville Predators opted to draft Chet Pickard with the 18th pick in ’08. Plenty of other goalies went much earlier in previous drafts.*

That being said, it’s possible that the trend is moving back in the other direction a bit. In three of the last five years, a goalie hasn’t been drafted in the first round. (To be fair, the New York Islanders made Mikko Koskinen the first pick of the second round in 2009, but it still doesn’t count.)

The Nashville Predators became the first team to draft a goalie in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, taking Magnus Hellberg in the second round (38th overall). The second round did open the goalie floodgates turn on the goalie faucet a bit, though, as the Anaheim Ducks chose John Gibson one pick later at No. 39 while the Los Angeles Kings made Christopher Gibson the 49th pick. (Click here for a full list of the 2011 draft results.)

The Predators’ decision to draft Hellberg surprised some because the two Gibson goalies (no relation) were higher-ranked netminding prospects. Mike Morreale points out that Central Scouting didn’t even name Hellberg as the top European goalie, either.

Still, Nashville scout Lucas Bergman apparently saw glimpses of their top two goalies (Pekka Rinne and Anders Lindback, both featured in this post’s main image) in Hellberg.

“We’ve had success Pekka (Rinne) and (Anders) Lindback here and I see a lot of similarities with those two goalies and Hellberg’s game as far as size, athleticism and ability to read the game and mental state … definitely,” Bergman said. “In my book, I saw a separation between Hellberg and those two (North American goalies). Magnus, in our eyes, is the top goalie in this draft with a separation.”

It seems like perceived NHL-readiness might also be one of the factors that enticed the Predators.

Hellberg just recently signed a two-year deal with Frolunda in the Swedish Elite League and will likely join the team, which also happens to be in his hometown, next season.

“I just moved there so my focus is to play with Frolunda, but if (Nashville) wants me to come over we’ll talk about what is best for my development,” Hellberg said.

Bergman likes the fact Hellberg is an older goalie (he was born in 1991).

“He’s an older kid in the draft and played senior hockey last year,” he said. “His maturity … I don’t think he’s that far away. I don’t see any reason to rush him but maturity wise, he’s not far off.”

Some might view the Predators’ decision to draft Hellberg instead of the Gibsons (or a skater) as “far off” but we’ll eventually learn if they found themselves another useful goalie as the years go by.

* Here are a few quick examples: Carey Price (fifth overall by Montreal in 2005), Al Montoya (sixth overall by the Rangers in 04), Marc-Andre Fleury (first overall by Pittsburgh in ’03), Kari Lehtonen (second overall by Atlanta in ’02), Rick DiPietro (first overall by the Islanders in ’00) and Roberto Luongo (fourth overall by the Islanders in ’97).