After Roberto Luongo was injured in last night’s game, the Florida Panthers have recalled Reto Berra from the AHL on an emergency basis. According to Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press, Luongo will be out at least a week.
As it is an emergency recall due to injury, the Panthers will not burn one of their four remaining recalls. Berra will need to be returned when Luongo becomes healthy enough to play, but can stay as long as he needs. The former Colorado Avalanche netminder has played in 31 games for Springfield this year, registering a .910 save percentage. Since coming over from Switzerland in 2013, Berra has played in 64 NHL games and put up a .906 save percentage.
This is exactly why the Panthers went out and signed James Reimer in the offseason, in order to protect themselves from any potential injury to their 37-year old netminder. Reimer will now take over the crease full-time until Luongo gets back, presenting a great chance for him to prove that he’s capable of being a standalone #1 goaltender in this league. The Panthers are currently just a single point behind both the Maple Leafs and Islanders for the final playoff spot, and have be playing well as of late.
Reimer actually has better numbers than Luongo this season, leading some to believe he should have been in the net all season long. The Panthers do have four back-to-back situations remaining, including next weekend against the Minnesota Wild and Tampa Bay Lightning.