With two days remaining until the puck drop, the big question still remains who will be the No. 1 netminder for Toronto.
Both James Reimer and Jonathan Bernier have played well in the preseason, both deserving of the top position. Although a difficult decision to make, head coach Randy Carlyle sees it differently.
“Those are good decisions. It’s tough on coaches and tough on management to make. To pick one guy when both have played well,” said Carlyle.
“The underlining fact is it’s a great decision because we have 1-A and 1-B quality goaltenders. Both guys can start.”
Reimer, in the Leafs 3-1 preseason win over Detroit on Saturday, continued to make a strong case for himself in earning the top spot. He made 24 saves and let in the lone goal with four minutes left in the game.
Before tonight’s contest, Reimer played 151 minutes of pre-season hockey, hosting a 3.18 goals average with a 91.3 save percentage.
Bernier, in 160 minutes of action between the pipes, carried a 3.75 goals against average with an 89.1 save percentage.
Both goaltenders played well during the preseason but were outshone by Drew MacIntyre, a goaltender who plays for the Marlies (Leafs AHL Affiliate). In 85 minutes of preseason action for the Leafs, he had a goals against average of 1.41 with a 94.6 save percentage.
Toronto certainly have some depth in goal and if Reimer or Bernier should succumb to injury during the regular season, MacIntyre has shown he can pick up the slack.
The question remains, who will step up as the definitive number net minder. With both Reimer and Bernier fighting for that spot, will the competition between them elevate each other’s game?
When it comes to who will start for the Buds when they open their regular season against the Habs, Carlyle let it be known during the Leafs post-game press conference that he is keeping that answer close to his chest.