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Down Reimer, Frattin, injury-bitten Leafs host Carolina tomorrow

By Jackson Alexander     Feb 13, 2013 in Sports
Toronto - If you're even remotely interested in the Toronto Maple Leafs, I’m sure you’ve already heard the news. And if you haven't, you've probably suspected.
But on Tuesday the Toronto Maple Leafs officially announced that James Reimer is out with a mild medial collateral ligament (MCL) strain. The injury was sustained during Monday’s 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers and with it one of the brightest lights of the Leafs’ 2012-2013 season has been extinguished (at least until next week). His .929 save percentage (9th in the league) is the product of a 3-game win streak and recent 37-save shutout against Montreal. When your goalie is stopping more than 92 percent of the shots he faces you tend to win hockey games. In fact, every goalie in the league with a save percentage higher than .925 has a winning record.
Matt Frattin joins Reimer on the injury train, also with MCL issues, and is also estimated to be out for a week at least. TSN reports that he’ll be undergoing a procedure “required to clean up some damage from the reconstructive cartilage surgery he had on his left meniscus in May.” With seven goals in the 10 games since his call-up, he has combined with former Marlie line mate Nazim Kadri for 21 points. Ranked by TSN prior to the injury as the 4th best right winger in the league he has provided the Leafs with valuable depth scoring and will be sorely missed.
However, not all is lost. While only 2-2, Ben Scrivens has been solid recently. His 32-save performance against the Philadelphia Flyers in a relief effort of Reimer was exemplary. Reimer’s injury four minutes into the second forced Scrivens into the game. He would go on to make 20 saves that period, eight of which would come during a 5-minute boarding major against the Leafs’ Korbinian Holzer. The only goal Scrivens would let in came with 32 seconds left in the game after a questionable non call that would have awarded the Leafs a power play.
Tomorrow, the Leafs visit the Hurricanes at the PNC arena. In their last meeting, Jordan and Eric Staal both notched goals to help Carolina hand Toronto a 4-1 defeat. Matt Frattin scored the lone Leaf goal while Jeff Skinner added 2 assists for the 'Canes. Since that game on February 4th the Leafs have gone on a 4-game winning streak. They will look to extend that and exact their revenge from the last encounter.
The Hurricanes have a game in hand and only trail the Leafs by a single point. Though their offence is 4th in the league Carolina has struggled defensively; Goalie Cam Ward sports a .902 save percentage (27th in the league) as the 'Canes have allowed an average of 3 goals per game.
Eric Staal seems to have remembered that he's an All-Star and on top of his 16 points, leads the league with a plus/minus of +11. Alex Semin trails him closely at +10 and Jeff Skinner has shrugged off an injury-laced sophomore season to contribute at a point-a-game pace. Former Leafs Jiri Tlusty and Tim Brent will be visiting. Tlusty has been solid with 5 goals and 4 assists over 12 games while Brent has gotten less than 8 minutes of ice time per game.
James van Reimsdyke is making a strong case for the rehiring of former Leafs GM Brain Burke. He’s tied for 5th in the league with 8 goals after Burke acquired him in exchange for defensemen Luke Schenn.
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