FanPost

A Case For James Reimer

I'm a leafs fan, but like watching the Oilers play and a big Scrivezina fan. I feel like there's a lot in common between the two teams and fan bases (strong forwards, terrible defence, both fed up with management). I'll admit I don't know a whole lot about the players and their stats, but I do know that like the leafs up until recently, they're not very stable in net. I was reading an article about whether Oilers should go big in the summer and spend for a goalie or go with a cheap platoon. I thought, why not kill two birds with one stone.

Why not get a great starting goaltender for cheap? Who is this mysterious goalie you may ask that clearly would have a big money contract? He's a goalie that plays behind terrible defence. There are 2 goalies that the oilers should target. Not Hiller. Not Ward. Ryan Miller and James Reimer.

Those are two goalies playing behind the worst 2 defences in the league. Miller probably doesn't want to go to Edmonton for reasons (defence, not seen as a legitimate cup contender) but Reimer is a different story. He is being pushed out of Toronto, he's on the last year of his contract, and probably won't (more like can't) demand more then a 3x3.5 contract. A platoon with between him and Scrivens might just get the Oilers to the playoffs and break their streak of most consecutive years without a playoff appearance (like they haven't done that before).In my opinion, there is a VERY strong case that Reimer is THE BEST Canadian goalie, save for maybe Bernier. That may sound a bit homerish, but thats a completely stats based argument.

Between this season and last year, he has the second best sv% of any canadian goalie (behind only Bernier). He has the 5th highest active career save percentage (min 100gp) (.915) of any canadian goalie behind Lou (.919), bernier (.918), Harding (.918) and price (.916). Of all active goaltenders, he has the 7th best save percentage in his first 4 years in the NHL (min 100 gp, 26/younger) behind Halak (.919), Lundqvist (.917) and Nabokov-Lou-Price-Nabakov (.916) and tied with varlamov at .915. In the past 2 years alone (min 50 gp), he's 10th league wide in save percentage (Rask, Bishop, Schnieder, Bobrovsky, Bernier, Lundqvist, Miller, Howard and Anderson are between .928 and .920). His .919 is better then guys like Niemi, Price, Loungo and Quick (surprisingly at .907). Just a side note, but his sophmore-injury-plagued season skews his numbers greatly.

In the playoffs, he has the 13th best sv% of any active goalie with at least 4 games played. his .923 is leagues better then other goalies, like Price, Niemi, Bobrovsky and a lot of others.

This is all fine and dandy and I could stop right now, but I prefer to incorporate 5-5 stats when comparing goalies.

This year, he has a 92.48 sv%. Of goalies with 750 minutes played, he has the 10th best, 4th out of Canadians. Of the 9 net minders ahead of him, not a single one face more shots per 60 (5 on 5) then him. In fact, only 3 of those goalies (Bernier, Varlamov and Miller) are in the top 10 in SA/60. In fact, 3 of those goalies ahead of him are bottom 10 in SA/60. Another side note: no goalie has a higher bercent of FO in the D-Zone then Reimer. He is also bottom 10 for team shooting % while he's on ice. Combine that with being bottom 10 for shots for, you can see that he gets some of the least support league wide.

In his breakout year last season in which he set the leafs sv% record, he had a 92.56 sv% 5-5, good for 16th of goalies with 750+ minutes. That still puts him above Miller, Loungo, Price, Lehtonen and a handful of other starters. In his injury plagued season, he saved 91.88% of 5-5 shots. While that puts him at 34th (ironically he wears #34), he was still above Marc-Andre Fleury and within .3% of Carey Price. When he first broke into the league, he was 6th overall with a 93.33%, behind only Thomas, Varlamov, Rinne, Loungo and Al Montoya (?!?).

So I'm not saying the Oilers should target Reimer, no, scratch that. Actually that is what I'm saying. That, and a platoon with Scrivens would likely get them into the playoffs regardless of the quality of defence and as long as they have decent offensive support.

Thanks for reading (this is my fist article), any comments would be appreciated. All the stats are from Hockey-Reference.com and stats.HockeyAnalysis.com

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