TLN Roundtable: Can a 1A-1B goalie system work?

Justin Fisher
November 22 2013 04:17PM

The TLN Roundtable is back! Every week, we'll pose a Leafs-related question to our writers, gather the various opinions, post the answers, and create internal tension and hatred amongst us. Then you, the reader, get to tell us how wrong we all are in the comments!

This week's question...

Incumbent goaltender James Reimer and newcomer Jonathan Bernier are both playing wicked good. Can a platoon system work for the rest of the year? Can it work beyond this year? And if not, who goes?

Ryan Fancey - @rfan_3

I think there's little doubt that a platoon system can work for the rest of this year, but beyond that I'm not so sure.

The answer to "who goes?" always seems to be Reimer, and you can see why most people would say that. First off, his contract ends after this season, making him a restricted free agent, and there's a sense that Leafs management already view Bernier as the number one guy anyway. But I'm not convinced yet that Reimer has to go. If he noticeably outplays Bernier for the rest of the season, the Leafs could lock him up long term and still dangle Bernier with a year remaining on his deal, which will be attractive to teams looking to solidify their goaltending. 

If both guys post similar numbers from here on, I think they'll stick with Bernier. Unloading Reimer as a restricted free agent doesn't sound like it would do much to maximize the return, but the Kings did the same this past summer and got a decent haul, so I'm not too worried about that.

The Leafs should be able to manage both goaltenders well for the rest of this season. I think where it goes from there is tough to predict, even though the easy answer seems to be that Reimer will be the guy shipped out.

Steve Dangle - @Steve_Dangle

If I'm a betting man, and I'm not because I have no money, I'd say the Leafs are looking to deal Reimer. My ideal though? Keep the Reimer-Bernier tandem together.

Seriously, I'd rather Reimer get more starts than he's getting, but goaltending is the biggest reason the Leafs are winning games. Bernier has a sparkling .939 save percentage, and Reimer has a .942 save percentage. As of Thursday, the Leafs are one of just seven teams in the league that have allowed fewer than 50 goals. After years of Raycroft, Toskala, Gustavsson, and so on, what more can you ask for?

If the Leafs trade Reimer, it better be for a king's ransom. Until that day comes, I'll be thrilled if they're able to re-sign him and keep arguably the league's best tandem together.

Justin Fisher - @thejustinfisher

I'm of the opinion that the Leafs have won a lot of games this season because of goaltending, and that having two good goaltenders is better than having one. To me, it's a no brainer to keep both Reimer and Bernier around past the trade deadline, and for the remainder of the season.

After that, Reimer should be moved. I don't really believe that Jonathan Bernier is a significantly worse goaltender if he's playing 60 games a season as opposed to 40, and with an adequate backup, I don't think the Leafs hurt all that much without Reimer. Like the Leafs front office and the mainstream media, I see Bernier as Toronto's goaltender of the future.

There's plenty of holes to fill in the Leafs organization - up the middle, on the backend, and in the prospect pool. Trading Reimer should provide some relief in one or two of those areas, and it should not mean a huge sacrifice between the pipes.

C0293e2b4678f1e929600607efbd5b6b
Justin Fisher is The Leafs Nation's Managing Editor. After the game, he's a handsome vigilante who fights crime and frequents late night food trucks.
Avatar
#1 STAN
November 22 2013, 09:37PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Props
2
props

Bernier played sporadically in Los Angeles, so it's just a guess as to his stamina. He might not be any good playing 40, let alone 60. He's never played that many, at least not in the NHL.

Fundamentally, he just LOOKS better than Reimer. But the numbers tell a different story.

You wonder how many goals against Reimer, have been direct results of his total inability to clear and pass the puck with his stick. If he could ever be taught that (coaching?) and also cover the top the net, he'd be awesome.

That said, despite no real track record, I'd go with Bernier and see what Reimer (LOW salary) might bring, especially packaging him with a high-salaried under-performer. (No names mentioned here for fear of rubbing a few folks the wrong way. Self censoring now underway). But not until after the season, unless the Buds are out of a playoff position approaching the trade deadline.

They are BOTH playing far beyond their NHL-standard contracts right now. Easily the best BANG for BUCKS tending net.

Avatar
#2 slp
November 22 2013, 11:09PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Props
3
props

WOW HOW SAD YOU MAPL LEAF FANS ARE....MARK MY WORDS REIMER WILL BE ONE OF TOP GOALIES AROUND AND GUESS WHAT AT THIS RATE IT WILL BE FOR ANOTHER TEAM.. UNLIKE BERNIER THAT WAS BROUGHT OVER FROM ANOTHER TEAM, REIMER HAD STARTED OUT WITH THE LEAFS IN THE MARLIES HAS BEEN WITH THE LEAFS AND HAD TO BATTLE HIS WAY TO WHERE HE IS NOWM YES HE HAS HIS FLAWS, BUT HE HAS BEEN ALWAYS THE PERSON TO LEARN AND GROW AND JUST GETS BETTER, AND AS FOR LAST YEAR ITS NO DIFFERENCE NOW IF THE LEAFS HAD PLAYED A BETTER DEFENSE GAME IN THE PLAY-OFFS THEY WOULD HAVE MADE IT PAST THE BRUINS..JUST LIKE THE DEFENSE SUCKS NOW AND YOUR RIGHT ITS BEEN THE GOALIES PLAYING HOCKEY THIS YEAR NOT THE REST OF THE TEAM...BERNIER IS NO WHERE NEAR AS GOOD AS REIMER....YEAH HE'S A BIT MORE FLASHY BUT HE DOESN'T HAVE REIMER'S HEART AND SHEAR DETERMINATION TO IMPROVE AND GET BETTER...AFTER ALL IT'S REIMER AND BRUINS RASK TIE THAT SPEAKS VOLUMES....GO REIMER GO

Avatar
#3 sarah
November 22 2013, 09:12PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Props
5
props

seems like the consensus is that the leafs view bernier as their goalie of the future, so everyone is assuming reimer will be the one traded. i don't disagree with this assumption, because it certainly looks to be the case, but i hope the leafs hold onto both goalies as long as possible (past this season) before making a decision.

i'm scared that the leafs will keep bernier and he'll prove to be a good, but not great, #1 goalie. i feel that reimer has already proven he can be a great goalie and just needs to be given the chance to play a full season as the #1. as far as i'm concerned, reimer is the incumbent #1 and it's his job to lose. if he doesn't lose the job outright, then he should be kept. he's proven that he can carry his team to the playoffs and kept the leafs in the playoff series against boston. without him, they don't even get to game 7, so he shouldn't be pointed at as one of the reasons they lost.

what has bernier proven? to this point, nothing.

it would be nice to see reimer get a string of games like bernier has. even when he wins, he often ends up sitting the next game, which goes against the "win and you're in" format that was supposed to happen. part of that is back-to-backs and splitting road starts, but if bernier is given that benefit, why not reimer?

Avatar
#4 Brian burke
November 22 2013, 05:33PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
1
props

Reimers gonna be traded to Calgary at the draft for the 8th overall pick

Avatar
#5 XiC
November 22 2013, 07:25PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
5
props

Just to raise the question but if the Leafs take away starts from Reimer and give him a lower workload, could they not convince him to sign at a lower price? Say a you're-not-the-starter price?

As a RFA he doesn't have much choice.

Couldn't they then move Bernier at likely no loss in goal-tending quality and get back assets while cutting down on salary?

Wouldn't that be a smart move to do?

Avatar
#7 Thomas
November 25 2013, 02:59AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
0
props

Reimer was a questionable assets because he could not stop giving up big juicy rebounds. Especially in the playoffs. What Bernier does is manage rebounds or swallow uo shots. Reimer has started to do this better - hence proved save percentage.

Avatar
#8 Derek
November 22 2013, 04:26PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
5
props

"Trading Reimer should provide some relief in one or two of those areas" I dunno about that. The guy we're keeping only got them a backup and a depth winger, we're going to fix an issue at D or C with an added prospect for the guy who we view as worse? I think we'd be lucky if we got even one of the areas fixed.

Avatar
#10 leafer4life
November 23 2013, 01:05PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
3
props

People want trade away Reimer or Bernier???? If so, then the leafs are one injury away from having goaltending problems.

Avatar
#11 Freebird
November 23 2013, 03:57PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

Without all the caps I agree that Bernier is not the better goalie. I also don't understand (to be fair i haven't been able to see much hockey this year) why many say Bernier should have the number 1 job and Reimer has to move. Reimer has gone through all the struggles up to this point. Terrible seasons, pressure of having to prove he's number one after his concussion and now having to prove he deserves to stay after a stellar playoff performance on his part. We know very little about Bernier other than the few games we have seen of him. Is it because he was a back up to Jonathon Quick that he's all of a sudden a starter with any other team? If people didnt speculate anything for awhile and just let the goaltenders play, I'm sure Reimers play would come out on top.

Avatar
#12 Jeremy Ian
November 24 2013, 08:00AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@sarah

"what has bernier proven? to this point, nothing."

Not sure I understand this claim. Isn't the fact that he HAS proven something why the team is in this interesting predicament?

To me, this is win-win all around. A team with real options; that's what the trade for Bernier aimed to create.

It's a long season. The currently formula is working. Don't fix things that aren't broken. As we approach the trade deadline, size up the opportunities.

Avatar
#13 spogorzelec
November 28 2013, 05:08PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props
Thomas wrote:

Reimer was a questionable assets because he could not stop giving up big juicy rebounds. Especially in the playoffs. What Bernier does is manage rebounds or swallow uo shots. Reimer has started to do this better - hence proved save percentage.

So Reimer had some rebound problems, which he seems to be getting better with he also has more expereince behine him than Bernier with regards to the work load of being the #1 Goalie.... Bernier did real well for your team against Pittsberg did he not? Flashaback of the playoff game last year don't you think?

As I recall it was with Reimer and its been said by many a person that it was with Reimer in the net that got the Leafs into the play offs and to a game 7...it was also discussed that it was the lack of defense that brought the Leafs chances of wining game 7 to the loss and not all in Reimers court...but just like always he is the scape goat..

Like it not the Leafs will regret it if they let Reimer go....In time Reimer will be a great goalie and it will be with a better team and with more loyal fans,,,,, ever heard of through thick or thin you stick with all your team not just when it helps your case...Reimer has been ripped apart and spit out many times even when he's proven his worth time and time again...

I am amazed how Reimer no matter what in all his interviews never has a bad think to say about anyone on his team or coach or management the fans, inst4ad he's humble and defends his teammates and doesn't try to make an excuse for a lost never parades around when it's a win he's there because he loves what he does and he fights for his team and fans no matter what...

such a sad day should he be the one to go....Bernier is not going to carry the #1 jpob for long..thats a for sure thing...

GO REIMER GO....

Comments are closed for this article.