Toronto Maple Leafs At St. Louis Blues: Leafs Going Without James Reimer

The Maple Leafs are short their starting goaltender James Reimer. They'll be offering up rookie Ben Scrivens to the St. Louis Blues instead.

The Toronto Maple Leafs were, once upon a time, perennial playoff sparring partners of the St. Louis Blues. As co-inhabitants of the Norris Division from 1981 to 1993, the two teams were more than familiar with each others' tough playing and rough and tumble styles. Now the two teams are strangers to each other. With the Leafs in the Eastern Conference, they meet once a year, and haven't met in St. Louis since 2010.

Rookie goaltender Ben Scrivens has never faced off against the Blues. He began his stint with the Leafs admirably on November 3rd, only allowing one goal in Toronto's 4-1 win. Since then, things haven't gone well for Scrivens and the current starter Jonas Gustavsson. With starter James Reimer out to injury, the Leafs have lost 7-0 to the Bruins and 5-1 to the Florida Panthers.

The Blues haven't drubbed an opponent like that since they beat the Calgary Flames 5-2 back on October 10th. New coach Ken Hitchcock got them to score three goals against the slumping Chicago Blackhawks, including a rare power play goal from Chris Stewart, who hadn't scored a goal since October. They showed great confidence taking out a first place Blackhawks team. They should be able to exploit the problems that Toronto have been having recently and take out another first place squad who has been pummeled recently.

The Blues need to look out for Phil Kessel. who is currently the league's leader in both goals and points (22 and 11, respectively). He scored twice on the Blues last season. Jaroslav Halak at least is familiar with the Leafs' sniper's tendencies. He saw him in action often as the Leafs faced their rival Montreal. Hopefully he can continue the goaltending performance of Tuesday night.

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