When the San Jose Sharks recalled Aaron Dell over the weekend, it suggested that James Reimer’s injury might be hampering him more than originally thought. The veteran netminder had played through it against the Los Angeles Kings, but didn’t look himself, allowing four goals on 28 shots. Today, the Sharks have decided to shut him down for at least a few days, moving Reimer to injured reserve and recalling Jeffrey Viel in the process.
Reimer, 34, has played in 15 games so far this season and has alternated between outstanding performances and struggles behind a leaky Sharks team. He has allowed four or more goals in seven games, but two or fewer in six. It has added up to a .903 save percentage but there have been times when San Jose would have been run out of the building without his acrobatic performance.
Behind him is Kaapo Kahkonen, who hasn’t been able to pull off the feat quite as often. The younger netminder has a 2-5-2 record and .871 save percentage through nine games. Dell, meanwhile, hasn’t posted acceptable NHL numbers since 2019-20, and shouldn’t be getting much playing time even if Reimer is held out for a longer period of time.
The Sharks likely won’t be able to avoid it, though, as they have two back-to-back situations coming up this week. The team will play tomorrow in Montreal, Wednesday in Toronto, Saturday in Ottawa, and Sunday in Buffalo, before returning home. Since Reimer must miss a minimum of seven days (since his last appearance), the best case is that he returns in time for the game against the Sabres.
It could be a tough week for the struggling Sharks, who now sit seventh in the Pacific Division and have lost three in a row.