The question hangs precariously in the air with no imminent answer in sight.

James Reimer’s return appears no closer to fruition as the Leafs’ crease continues to wobble in his absence. Ron Wilson was forced to hook his starter for the second consecutive game on Tuesday as the Leafs dropped a 5-1 decision to the Panthers, the first time they’ve lost two games in a row all season – they were thumped 7-0 by the Bruins on Saturday.

Toronto goaltending currently sits third-worst in the NHL (3.37 goals against average, .888 save percentage), struggles that were clearly on display at the Air Canada Centre on Tuesday night.

Jose Theodore was spectacular with 38 saves for the visiting Panthers, while the duo of Jonas Gustavsson and Ben Scrivens leaked five goals on 28 shots.

“Their goalie made a number of big saves and unfortunately we didn’t get a save and that kind of sunk us,” said Wilson, following the Leafs second regulation loss at home this season. “We’ve got to shore up our goaltending obviously but play the way we did tonight and more often than not, the puck will go in the net.”

A dominant final two periods – the Leafs outshot the Panthers 31-14 – yielded little in the way of results, capped by a deflating spurt in the middle frame.

Florida scored twice in a 19-second span on two plays that could hardly be considered scoring chances. A bouncing puck that skipped past Gustavsson behind the Leafs net keyed Marco Sturm for the Panthers second goal with Tomas Kopecky (they led 1-0 after the first) adding another seconds later, his shot innocently deflecting off the stick of John-Michael Liles and past the glove of the 26-year-old Swede. Scrivens took over from that point, but fared no better in relief, yielding two goals on just seven shots.


  1. blaze says:

    I'm of the mind of pay more, get more. Lets target a younger guy who can not only hold the fort but challenge Reimer. Anders Lindback would be great, they just locked up Rinne big time so I'm sure he's much more available now then before. Not going to make an attempt on value though, lol send Franson back.

  2. leafmeister says:

    and THEN flip him for Blake Kessel…its all good, I follow ya.

  3. TheLeafNation91 says:

    This year, good goalies have been a rarirtyto find and Minny has benefited by having  two capable starters.

    Also, Harding is slowly taking the starter job from Backstrom.

    Neither goalie isgoing anywhere, try elsewhere.

  4. dumbassdoorman says:

    I think Lindback would be a costly asset to aquire, and would be a potential awesome one two punch and battle for number one. Turco costs the least and could give Reimer that vetern type role model jiggy did last year.

  5. dumbassdoorman says:

    lol….you forgot about the pp

  6. JoelLeafs says:

    Ahhh, the old komisarek award…

  7. alpalstewart says:

    of course i'm playing, i'm the defending champ. lol

  8. alpalstewart says:

    i have no doubt in my mind that Khabibulin is available too. despite his great play in EDM. right now

    that could be an option for the leafs aswell
  9. dumbassdoorman says:

    Anybody else read that star article about reimer? His mom claims James has has several concussions in the past, and is worried that the symptoms even though he has passed the concussion test. So this leads me to think we are looking at the new year before we see Reimer out on the ice. He has been out long enough that they will take a bit after he feels better to just rest and resume workouts. Then there will be the conditioning process involved before he can play. So now more then ever the question becomes do we need a goalie? A solid back up, a vetern this team can lean on or a young guy with promise? How much do you give up to get one?

  10. MystifoLeafs says:

    Yeah but I hate dealing with Edmonton. I mean they trade damage goods and pass them off as okay to play. See Smyth trade. 

  11. dumbassdoorman says:

    Ya they might have trouble finding dance partners, after trying to do it twice in the same trade lol……that screams good business

  12. reinjosh says:

    Depends what type of young goaltender. I want a guy with experience and veteran ability to teach Reimer personally. I realize that I'm assuming Reimer is the future of our goaltending, but I do that for a reason. I truly think he is. 

    A guy like Lindback, or Schneider, or Bernier is not the type of guy I want to go after. Despite being incredibly expensive, they don't have the experience I would want. Even Schneider, I wouldn't be comfortable with. Playing behind Vancouver has propped him up, IMO. 
    I'd prefer someone else. Turco I would like. Cheap, veteran leadership, and playoff experience if Reimer goes down. I would say he's my top choice. Personal desire but its who I want.
    Harding would be an ok deal for me. He's talented and has lots of experience. I don't think he's a starter but I think he would do a good job as backup. I'd caution expecting to much though, he has played on a team notorious for defensive play. But I'd be fine making a deal for him. He'd be my second choice I think. 
  13. reinjosh says:

    I'm not giving up Kadri, Frattin or Blacker for a guy that would be a backup. That's moronic. Giving that up makes little sense. Same with Gunnarsson. 

  14. reinjosh says:

    He's in chicago. 

  15. reinjosh says:

    Did not. To much work to do right now. 

  16. reinjosh says:

    I believe what's she's saying but really all she is saying is that Reimer has a headache and has passed baseline testing showing he doesn't have a concussion. The actual writer of the article just assumed that Reimer was still feeling symptoms, even though the mother said he wasn't (except for the headaches). 

    It's a mother concerned for her sons safety. I wouldn't read to much into it, especially since she isn't anywhere near him and the son is only talking to her through the phone (since I'm assuming she still lives in Manitoba).
    The Leafs are being safe. They don't want to make this worse. If he has even slight concussion symptoms, they will just take it safely. No reason to ruin what they obviously see as the future of Leaf goaltending. If it's hurting the Leafs, Burke will get a veteran to fill in. We have to start worrying if they come out and say something about it. 
    I'm actually surprised the mother is saying anything. Reim's brother works for my Dad and hasn't actually made any mention about it. Everytime someone asks him he just brushes it off and makes no deal about it. Take it for what you may. 
  17. dumbassdoorman says:

    Josh, I would give them up for the right back up, like say Schiender, now before people start bashing I realize it would take a lot to get him out of Vancity. I am simply stating I wouldn't mind them as part of a package.

  18. dumbassdoorman says:

    Well if you had, you would've seen how much they could have used Suter……just saying!!! Sorry had to say it

  19. dumbassdoorman says:

    I realize that it is a parents point of view for sure. I was more eluding to that he has told her he isn't ready and my feeling from it is that we won't see him until after Christmas. If he is out another 2wks lets say, by the time he resumes workouts, is then cleared to play and goes on a conditioning stint, it may very well be the new year before we see him.

  20. blaze says:

    That would be a disaster, and possible.

  21. blaze says:

    Honestly I'm not fond on any of the veteran goalies available. Nabokov would probably be an improvement but it's no guarantee. Turco I wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole. I feel very confident that Turco would actually be a downgrade on Gustavsson right now. Turco was bad on Chicago, he's done. 

    Gustavsson in a backup role is alright but relying on him right now when we desperately need to to have a good season is bad news. For all the weak goals Gus lets in I can actually see Turco playing worse.

    Above I was merely pointing out the different options outside the core for a trade. That's understandable if you wouldn't give up Kadri you could be bang on. Personally though I feel Harding could come in and play well enough to actually fight Reimer for the number 1 when he comes back. I love Reimer but I'm still not ready to call him the savior. His career is so young yet that we really don't know what he will be. 

    I'd feel much more confident with having Reimer in platoon with a young guy who can really push him. A Reimer – Harding/Lindback/Schneider/ Bernier combo I think would really help keep the Leafs competitive long term. All these vets are big question marks, albeit low risk, and do little long term.
  22. blaze says:

    Agree Marty is available and no one wants him. The fans are pleading for Turco but I think there would be some sorta 180 if Burke actually picked him up. 

    Imagine when he steps in he completely bombs and is an actual downgrade on Gus (I'm sure he would be). Not to mention if he signed today how fast could he be ready? No way does he go from the couch to starting at the ACC on Saturday night. Whats he need a week in the minors? Two? I just don't like the fit.

  23. blaze says:

    Depends on who but for a guy who would be around for awhile and could rival Reimer for number 1 none of those guys are untouchable for me.

    On another note Kadri's development lately is somewhat concerning. I'm in no way ready close to ready to give up on him but still for the sheer amount of skill he has I'd really like to see some progress.

  24. dumbassdoorman says:

    Ya it sure would

  25. dumbassdoorman says:

    He is apparently working out daily with the Soo greyhounds, but ya how well he could come in and play is a mystery

  26. blaze says:

    Well that's a bit better. I still would be nervous to see him step back in with the big boys though.

  27. dumbassdoorman says:

    Oh, i don't think he would be a saviour. only problem is that even bringing him to practice could upset the team if he is not up to the task. Plan B would need to already be in place without a doubt, as it wouldn't fool anybody as to why he was there.

  28. JoelLeafs says:

    One game, man. Scrivens played one good game. If Gus got a 35 shot shutout in his first start do we keep playing him over Reimer (obviously if the injury had no happened)? 

    Trying to level with you here, but one good game from a kid who has never played in the NHL before… plus, he played in the ECHL last season. 
  29. JoelLeafs says:

    You're going down.

  30. blaze says:

    Ya if Gus in his first game had a shutout then he`d play the next and Reimer would ride the pine. If the next game Gus lets in 1 and plays great again you play him again. Ride your hot goalie. If he plays bad his second game then you go back to your number 1.

  31. blaze says:

    A goalie could be a 7th round 18 year old if he comes in and plays lights out, he gets another game. Doesn`t make him the number 1 but he`s earned himself another, and another until his play decides where he belongs.

  32. Boston_Bruins says:

    What are these "girls" you speak of?

  33. dumbassdoorman says:

    lol….well they are mythical here so far as we know

  34. mojo19 says:

    I think it would be a better route to trade for Nabakov. There are enough teams that could use a goalie and Turco would be claimed on waivers by the time he got to the top of the standings to the Leafs.

    Then Burke is essentially doing the ground work for the contract for Turco to go play for another team. Remember in St.Louis last year they tried signing a couple players who were both claimed off waivers (Svatos to Nashville, can't remember the other one). Even Detroit signing Nabby, who ended up on the Island.

    I think signing Turco would be a good idea if you could guarantee he'd be a Leaf, but I could almost guarantee he wouldn't.

  35. mojo19 says:

    The special teams are an absolute joke. And have been for 4 years with NO improvement. Its all different players from 4 years ago, and yet the PP and PK look exactly the same – terrible. What's the common denominator? Ron Wilson.

  36. mojo19 says:

    As long as Edmonton is playing well, Khabiboulan is going nowhere. If the wheels fall off of the Oil then 'Bulin could be an option later in the season.

  37. blaze says:

    Ya I don`t want to be known as Wilson defender, I just don`t hate the guy. In the first of Wilsons tenure I can understand the lack of PP success. If you don`t have the talent there`s only so much you can do. Now is is a completely different story the pieces are there.

    It`s the PK that really gets me. Any team can find some scrubs or even AHLers that can play the PK, there`s no excuse. Goaltending makes a difference but 4 years at the bottom is pathetic. Didn`t they hand off PK duties to Cronin or Gordon this year?

  38. JoelLeafs says:

    Think Columbus Scrivens shows up tonight, or Boston Scrivens?

  39. JoelLeafs says:

    lol, don't be mean!

  40. JoelLeafs says:

    I think you bring up a good point. If I'm a GM in the East and see Toronto at the top and faltering in net, I'm not letting them have Turco. Say Toronto sets up a Wings-Nabokov type deal, or like a 1-year ~1-mil sort of deal, I'd take it and make him a backup or put him in the minors (you have to think it would be a 2-way contract). If I've got the cap room, I'd rather do it and play against Scrivens or Gustavsson. 

    If the Reimer "whip lash" turns into a 20, 30, 40 game, or even season stealing injury (read: concussion) what do you think about targeting Bobrovsky? Like it or not, Philly is stick with their current number 1 – for obvious reasons – and won't likely be able to justify giving him the games he needs to continue to develop. He'll definitely cost more than Nabokov, but he'd strengthens the net significantly and could make great trade bait down the road (or on of the other thirty seven goalies in the Leafs' system).
  41. blaze says:

    Hoping for CLB Scrivens but I have my doubts. I really hope they get a goalie soon because I don't want to force Scrivens into something he can't handle. I'm fine with moving on from Gus but don't wreck Scrivens.

  42. reinjosh says:

    I don't hate the guy really either I'm just not a fan. 

    It doesn't really matter whether or not the PK is directly responsible by Wilson. It's been abysmal the entire time he's been here. Everything has changed around. The players (a couple times), the coaches, the goalies. Everything thing but him and the PK. Sooner or later he has to answer for it with his job. 

  43. mojo19 says:

    I think Bob has shown a lot of signs of being a potential star in the NHL, but he hasn't been able to put it all together yet for any significant amount of time. Still, I think you can add his name to the list of potential options to roll the dice on.

  44. reinjosh says:

    Haha fair enough.

  45. dumbassdoorman says:

    LOL….hey I was kidding, seriously there isn't a team that guy wouldnt look sweet on

  46. JoelLeafs says:

    Girls + hockey = yes
    Girls + internet = yes
    Girls + forums = yes

    Girls + internet + forums = no

    heh heeeh

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