The 22-year-old started six games for the Leafs and was 4-2-0. He let in only 14 goals on 208 shots on net. He had a .933 save percentage and 2.26 goals against average. This is compared to Gustavsson’s .896 save percentage and 3.13 GAA and Giguère’s .894 and 2.80 GAA.
Reimer was sent down to the Marlies after losing 5-1 against the Phoenix Coyotes. This demotion might seem harsh but Reimer obviously knew that he hadn’t been called up to play long-term for the Leafs this season.
The Toronto Maple Leafs already have two solid goaltenders in Jonas Gustavsson and Jean-Sebastien Giguère, not to mention the hefty paycheques that each of them demand. Neither could be sent down to the Marlies without risk. This is because they have to clear waivers in order to re-enter the roster, and it’s likely another team would pick either player up, especially considering they could do so at half the price.
Drafted 99th overall by the Leafs in 2006, Reimer started his first NHL game on January 1, 2011 against the Ottawa Senators, where he enjoyed a 5-1 win. He earned a second straight start, where he made 31 saves against a strong Bruins team and was awarded the second star of the night, but ended up with a 2-1 loss. Gustavsson played the next game against the St. Louis Blues. Reimer then played his third start against Atlanta in a game that saw nine Toronto goals. In the fourth game he started, Reimer made 30 saves to help the Leafs to a 3-2 win over the L.A. Kings. Reimer was given the first star in the next game he played, against the San Jose Sharks, where he made 40 saves and Toronto won 4-2. By that point, the Leafs were going to start him—until he lost, which happened in the next game he played against the Phoenix Coyotes.
Reimer can be proud of the effort he put forth while he filled in for Giguère. He did extremely well despite the large media distraction and impressed the Leafs’ management. It shouldn’t be long before he plays in the NHL for good. Whether or not it will be as a starter or backup for the Leafs or for another team remains to be seen. Either way, when Reimer was needed, he delivered.