Gustavsson or Scrivens: Who Should Start for the Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Boston?

Anthony AntonacciContributor IIINovember 4, 2011

TORONTO, CANADA - SEPTEMBER 19:  Ben Scrivens #30, Kenny Ryan #68 and Jonas Gustavsson #50 of the Toronto Maple Leafs  celebrate win against the Ottawa Senators during preseason NHL action at the Air Canada Centre September 19, 2011 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)
Abelimages/Getty Images

The Leafs have a problem that most teams would love to have.

James Reimer was off to a great start this season with a record of four wins and one overtime loss. However, he sustained a neck injury on October 22nd while playing against the Montreal Canadiens, and he has not played since.

With news that starting goaltender James Reimer will be out for longer than expected, coach Ron Wilson has two goalies playing well at his disposal for Saturday night’s game against the Boston Bruins.

Who should he choose?

Fans were calling for Jonas Gustavsson’s head during his first few games this year after losses to the Philadelphia Flyers and the Boston Bruins. The Bruins game was especially bad; Gustavsson surrendered six goals.

Still, Gustavsson managed to rebound with wins versus the Rangers and Penguins last week. The Penguins win was significant, in particular, as Leafs fans at the Air Canada Centre could be heard chanting his name, something which hasn’t happened very often.

Ben Scrivens was called up from the Toronto Marlies on October 26th. There was speculation that he would play against the Ottawa Senators on October 30th since it was a back-to-back situation, but he had to wait until last night to get his first start.

He didn’t disappoint.

Scrivens was calm, cool and collected during last night’s 4-1 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets, stopping 38 shots. The only goal allowed by him looked like it almost needed to be physically willed into the net. Sure, the Blue Jackets aren’t a very good team, but some of those saves were tough no matter who the opponent is.

Each goalie has two reasons why they should be in net on Saturday.

Jonas Gustavsson:

  • Has an opportunity to make up for the last time he played the Bruins while it is still fresh in everyone’s minds.
  • Can show off his talents to the league and improve his value as potential trade bait.

Ben Scrivens:

  • Is able to prove that he can beat good teams as well as bad teams.
  • Can provide the Leafs coaching staff with a greater body of work to help determine if he is truly ready for NHL action, and he can let Brian Burke know if he has enough depth to deal Gustavsson.

Who do you think should play tomorrow night?


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