Thursday, January 05, 2012

Reimer vs. Gustavsson

After posting a complaint about Gustavsson getting the start in net tonight over Reimer, I've been told that I hate Gustavsson.

Firstly, I want to put it out there that no, I don't hate Gustavsson. I wish him all the success in the world. I greatly admire his perseverance through the death of his parents and his heart problems. I think he has a great work ethic and he really puts his best effort out whenever he gets a start. However, my like or dislike for him does not change the fact that he simply is not an NHL calibre goaltender. A quick look at his stats over the past number of years will show you that.

In his first year with the Leafs, he put up .902 sv% and a 2.87 GAA. Which is by no means terrible, but certainly isn't good. In the last two years it's been .890/3.29 and .896/3.26. And I'm sorry, but that is simply not good enough to get this team in the playoffs. Has Reimer been much better? No, but he has been marginally better, and during his run last year he was better than Gus has been during his three seasons in the NHL.

Looking at who has more wins is useless in my opinion, because hockey is a team game and the goalie is only one player on the ice. You can stop all the pucks you want put you're not winning if you can't get a goal. The goalie isn't the one who scores goals.

Reimer is this team's number one goaltender, and after having the night off on Tuesday he should be starting in net tonight. If Reimer's play (which aside from the game in Florida has really not been bad at all) gets worse and the team drops in the standings, I am all for giving Gustavsson more starts. But for the time being, I believe that Reimer has done more during his time in the NHL to prove that he deserves more ice time, whereas Gustavsson has not done much at all.

Both Reimer and Gustavsson are our goalies, and as a fan I'd want them both to have 0.99 sv% and win all the trophies in the world. Saying I hate Gustavsson because I think he shouldn't be starting tonight is completely irrelevant and immature. If I were a coach right now and were given the chance to start either Martin Brodeur or Tim Thomas, I'd start Tim Thomas. The comparison isn't exact, but the point remains that just because I choose to start Thomas doesn't mean I'm a Brodeur hater (quite the opposite, in fact, since I think Brodeur's one of the best ever). Similarly, wanting to start Reimer doesn't mean that I don't like Gustavsson, or that I don't want Gustavsson to succeed. All the best to both of them.

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