Maple Leafs, Jonas Gustavsson a Healthy Scratch, Giguere Returns in Back Up Role

Louis PisanoAnalyst IFebruary 3, 2015

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With the outstanding play of James Reimer and the return of J.S. Giguere from injury albeit in a back up role, the odd man out for the moment seems to be Jonas Gustavsson.

Now I wouldn’t start swirling rumors around about Giguere being on the trade block and Reimer becoming the number one goalie for the Leafs right yet.

Coach Ron Wilson and GM Brian Burke have acknowledged the great play of Reimer, and Wilson is riding the young goalie while he’s hot, as any coach in the NHL does.

But they (Burke and Wilson) have also mentioned the fact that he’s still young and that their goalie situation with the big club and down on the farm is pretty stocked at the moment.

If this roll that Reimer is on continues for an extended period of time, then there may be some fire with all the smoke, and then moving a veteran like Giguere to a team that is making a playoff run becomes more of a concrete possibility as the trade deadline approaches.

Reimer is 4-1 in five starts with a 1.92 goal against average and a .947 save percentage, and much can be attributed to his quietness between the pipes and big-bodied style of play.

The Leafs during Reimer’s five starts have scored 22 goals and have allowed only 10; goal production certainly helps when looking for W’s.

Leafs goalie coach Francois Allaire has obviously been hard at work with Reimer, Gustavsson, Giguere and others, bringing the stock of each of them up during the process.

The Leafs have been controlling the play during this streak with puck possession, and as long as that continues, they should continue to succeed as it’s obviously difficult for other teams to score without the puck.

While there is truly no such thing as having too many good goalies, and competition between net minders for starts breeds sharper more focused goalies, there is only room for two on a roster specifically when other players are returning from injuries like Mike Brown who is supposed to be activated today.

This means that either Joey Crabb or Darryl Boyce will be sent down to the Marlies, or that one of the fourth liners, Colton Orr, Fredrick Sjostrom or Tim Brent, will be riding the pine in the press box.

It’s better to have too much than not enough in many cases, and this is a seemingly good problem the Leafs face at the moment.

Personally, I’m hoping, and truly can’t see how, they can send either Boyce Crabb or Reimer down to the farm at this moment, leaving me with the thought that perhaps Gustavsson could get a stint with the Marlies so that he can see more game situations and get some starts during Reimer's great streak, which could end in a heartbeat.