VANCOUVER – Toronto goaltenders have seen more rubber than the Indianapolis Speedway this season.
In 15 games this year the Maple Leafs have given up 552 shots on goal, which is the second most of any club behind only the Buffalo Sabres.
In Saturday’s 4-0 loss to the Vancouver Canucks it was no different as James Reimer faced 47 shots.
“You don’t want to be giving up 40-plus, even 35-plus shots,” said goaltender James Reimer who was in net for the loss. “You go through spells where teams get lots of shots. Some things aren’t working and others are.
“Right now we are allowing a lot of shots. I don’t think it’s too alarming and it’s something we can correct. As goaltenders we just have to stay in there and give the team a chance and try to keep it close as long a spossible.”
During Toronto’s recent three-game Western road-swing the Leafs were outshot 133-69. Despite the huge shot disparity, Toronto beat the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames by a combined 8-2 score.
All season long Toronto goaltenders have faced a firing squad. Toronto has been outshot nine straight games and 13 times in the last 15. The Leafs have given up 30 or more shots 14 times and allowed more than 40 the last three games.
Against the Canucks, Toronto was outshot 11-0 before Daniel Sedin opened the scoring on a power play with just over six minutes gone in the first period. The only reason the Leafs remained in the game was because of several huge saves by Reimer. One was a highlight reel stop on a shot from Alex Burrows.
Coach Randy Carlyle agreed the Leafs can’t continue to be target practice for other teams.
“That’s a theme and we’re not happy about it,” he said.
The loss dropped Toronto’s record to 10-5-0 but it remains tied for second in the Eastern Conference with Tampa Bay first in the Atlantic Division with 20 points.
The Leafs have remained competitive by scoring buckets of goals. Heading into Saturday’s game Toronto’s 48 goals was second only to the 51 scored by San Jose.
Toronto also has been receiving solid goaltending from both Reimer and Jonathan Bernier. Prior to Saturday Reimer led the league with a .949 save percentage.