The Future: Leaf Goaltending
This Season the Maple Leafs hope to once again make the post-season. There are many factors that will decide if the Leafs reach this goal. Today I will look at the Leafs goaltending and if it can be good enough to steal around 10 games for Toronto.
The Toronto Maple Leafs will enter the upcoming season with a 1A - 1B goaltending tandem between Jean-Sebastien "Giggy" Giguere and Jonas "The Monster" Gustavsson. A solid tandem for sure, but will it be enough to lead the Leafs to the playoffs?
Last Season, Giggy started the year with the Anaheim Ducks, backing up Jonas Hiller, to whom he lost the starting role a season earlier. Giggy played 20 games with the Ducks in which he held a record of 4-8-5 with a 3.14 GGA. On January 31st (the magical day in Leafs History) JS Giguere got traded to the Maple leafs for Vesa Toskala and Jason Blake. From then on, Giguere posted a record of 6-7-2 with a GAA of 2.49.
Not only did Giggy's numbers improve when he arrived in Toronto, but he also took on the role of mentoring Jonas Gustavsson, who will hopefully lead the Leafs in goal for the next decade.
The Monster's true potential started to show once Giggy arrived to the scene. Let's look at Gustavsson's stats for a moment.
BEFORE Giguere: 9-12-8
AFTER Giguere: 7-3-1
Now, let's say this upcoming season Gustavsson plays 55 games with Giguere gettng the remaining games. If Gustavsson can average 7 wins per every 11 games played, that turns out to a record of 35-15-5. Make that record realistic and Gustavsson could have a record of 30-19-6 for 66 points. All Giguere would need to get is 29 points in 27 games to give the Leafs a total of 95 points (roughly what you need to sit in the 7th or 8th seed in the East).
If the Leafs can get consistent goaltending for the year, and have Giguere and Gustavsson steal a few games here and there, it is most definitely not out of the question for this club to crack the post season for the first time since the lockout.
Let's not forget about Ben Scrivens, Jussai Rynnas and James Reimer in the farm. We may see one or two of them make appearances during the season. Needless to say, the Leafs depth at goal is no longer in the shallow end.
In conclusion, Toronto's goaltending is capable of getting the team to the playoffs, and maybe just maybe taking them deep. It's now time to take a look at the Leafs forwards and defense.
NEXT BLOG: The Future: Defending the Defense.
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