5

Today's noon number looks at just how rare it has been for a Leafs' rookie goalie to not only play significant games but to win them as well. In the modern era, 21 goalies have played at least 1 game for the Buds in their first season with the Leafs. Only five have won nine games:

Player Season Age GP W
Mike Palmateer 1976-77 23 50 23
Jonas Gustavsson 2009-10 25 42 16
Ron Low 1972-73 22 42 12
Allan Bester 1983-84 19 32 11
James Reimer 2010-11 22 16 9

Beyond wins, which are dependent on the surrounding team and available opportunity, Gabe Desjardins has looked at how rare James Reimer's hot start has been in terms of save percentage yesterday and how it's likely bought him a lot of rope and opportunity going forward. How important is Reimer to the Leafs? James Mirtle puts it in stark relief:

Toronto has a combined save percentage of only .895 with Jean-Sébastien Giguère or Jonas Gustavsson in goal, the equivalent of allowing 1.2 more goals against per game than Reimer’s .934.

If the Leafs have any hope at the playoffs, it'll be because they rode Reimer and Ron Wilson is determined to give this team every chance they can get:

"I’m riding James. He’s a young kid and he wants to be in every game. I think our team deserves to get that kind of goaltending and he deserves to play."

Amen.

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