June 2, 2014
TORONTO– Goaltender Drew MacIntyre is making a strong case to be the Toronto Maple Leafs back-up netminder next season if the spot is available.
The 30-year-old has just one-career start in the NHL—which came this this season with the Leafs. At the AHL level, however, he’s continuing to show his value with the Toronto Marlies as he’s backstopped the club to a Game 7 in the Western Conference Final against the Texas Stars.
In a do-or-die Game 6 Monday, the Charlottetown native stopped 36-of-37 shots as the Marlies beat the Stars 3-1 in Texas. MacIntyre has faced an average of 38 shots a game in the series— highlighted by a 49-save performance in a Game 1 victory.
Through three rounds of playoff hockey, MacIntyre is 10-3 with two shutouts, a 1.85 goals-against average and an impressive .946 save percentage.
“I’ll tell you, what Drew’s doing right now, (he’s) not only helping our hockey club but he’s making a big case for his own personal career as well,” said Marlies coach Steve Spott after the Game 6 victory.
It’s unclear what the Leafs plan to do yet with their goaltending situation next season, but MacIntyre could offer them exactly what they need if James Reimer isn’t part of their plan. Reimer will be a restricted-free agent in the summer, coming off a contract that paid him $1.8 million per season and with Jonathan Bernier being the consensus Number-1 it seems as if his time in Toronto may be running out. MacIntyre, who has played for 14 professional teams across four leagues, would come in at much less cost wise and end the goaltending drama that plagued the Leafs during parts of last season.
“I still feel I can play at that level, I don’t want to go to Europe. I could make more money in Europe…it’ll just happen when it’s mean tto happen,” said MacIntyre.
“I want to stay here, I love it here, it’s so great for my family. I bounced around a lot as every body knows… I’ve never seen an organization like this, very classy. I know I’m a free agent and there’s 29 other teams but I try to take pride in a reputation that I hope feels like it got me here when they needed a goalie. I just want to keep up my body of work and hopefully somebody notices it.”
While MacIntyre is the main reason the Marlies are heading to a Game 7 against the league’s top team, he didn’t hesitate to applaud his penalty killers after Game 6. In the series Toronto has killed 30-of-33 Texas power plays—including a minute 33 seconds of a 5-on-3 on Monday to cling to a one-goal lead.
“I think I’m at a loss for words about our penalty killers,” said MacIntyre. “They do whatever it takes and you can’t ask for anythinhg more than that…That’s our bread and butter, the penalty killers give us so much life.”
MacIntyre made a Calder Cup finals appearance in 2009 with the Hamilton Bulldogs. He can do it again if the Marlies beat Texas on Tuesday night in Game 7.
“I’ve lost Game 7 conference finals before and I don’t want to do it again.