It may be time to do something. Playing a full 60 minute game would be a start, but starting a goaltender would also help. Don’t get me wrong, if Reimer were healthy the Monster would be a great backup but as the weeks Optimus Reim add up one thing is abundantly clear: Monster is not an NHL quality goalie.
The man with the greatest nickname in the sport today is downright bad. Sure he makes some unbelievable saves but how often are they a result of him being caught out of position? In his time with the Leafs has a career save% that is .002 higher than the great Vesa Toskala managed in blue and white.
As the games, and weak goals, add up Monster looks less and less confident. You can see the panic in his game as his NHL career slips away and it is tough to watch. Whiffing on soft shots, mishandling pucks behind the net and creating holes where none should exist are slowly becoming his trademarks. It would be hard to imagine another team taking a risk on him at this point with three years into his career with no signs of improvement.
There are no excuses this time. Monster’s heart procedures and family loses were enough to rattle even the most hardened NHL veteran, much less a rookie who packed up his life and moved halfway around the world, but they are in the past. Now is when his game should be at his best, fighting for every minute to supplant the kid who stole the job that was earmarked for him.
You have to hope he finds his game very, very soon. But it might be more reasonable to look towards Burke at this time to bring in a proven backup. After all, if this team is going to succeed they need solid goaltending every night, they cannot afford to wait for the rare Gustavsson gem. The buffer created by the Leafs impressive October is almost gone, something has to change.