Sometimes the same goal can leave different fans saying “finally” for different reasons.
It’s been an awful Wednesday for the Toronto Maple Leafs, especially James Reimer. It turns out the fourth goal allowed finally shuttled him from the Maple Leafs’ net.
The 2014-15 season has been cruel for Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Ryan Murray, who’s still-young career has been crippled by injuries. Many Blue Jackets fans probably said “finally” when he got his first goal of the year, the same tally that chased Reimer tonight:
It’s plausible that we’ll see better days for both players, and maybe even their teams.
The reason for that is simple: Maple Leafs goaltender James Reimer was superb tonight.
“(Reimer) was the first star. Simple as that,” Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said in his postgame press conference. “The number of saves that he made in the third period and quality saves. You know, a lot of time you’ll get a lot of stuff from the outside, but they had some pointblank chances and he stood tall to the task, that’s for sure.”
Reimer struggled mightily last season, but through five games he now has a 3-1-0 record, 2.47 GAA, and .929 save percentage, which is more impressive than the numbers starting goaltender Jonathan Bernier has put up thus far. That being said, Bernier has been great lately too, allowing just one goal in his last two starts.
Toronto is on a three-game winning streak to improve to 6-4-1 this season.
Editor’s Note: PHT’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $1,200 Fantasy Hockey league for Wednesday’s NHL games. It’s just $10 to join and first prize is $275. Starts Wednesday at 7pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.
Jonathan Drouin is progressing as the Tampa Bay Lightning were likely hoping when they selected him third overall in 2013, as he’s one of the finalists for the QMJHL’s MVP. (The Canadian Press)
San Jose Sharks injury updates: Brad Stuart is nearing a return, while it appears as if Raffi Torres is still struggling. (CSNBayArea.com)
Ryane Clowe gave Michael Ryder some odd advice regarding his goal slump. (Newark Star-Ledger)
Newly re-signed Colorado Avalanche forward John Mitchell underwent an X-ray on his back following a failed check last night. The team is expected to provide more information regarding his status later today. (Denver Post)
The “heartbeat” of the Edmonton Oilers (Matt Hendricks) suffered a leg injury last night. Both Hendricks and Nail Yakupov (ankle) are considered day-to-day. (Oilers’ Twitter feed)
Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Tim Gleason delivered a questionable hit on Detroit Red Wings blueliner Brendan Smith. (The Score has the GIF)
Finally, a random cool photo, via Getty Images at the Ducks – Capitals game last night:
Beyond impressing Wayne Gretzky, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ first playoff berth in nine years has also served as a nice way for casual hockey fans to get acquainted with James Reimer.
Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron might be one of the few who still wishes that the Maple Leafs backed up rumors by trading the young goalie. As of this writing, he’s scored one goal on just 26 shots against the 25-year-old netminder.
If you’re wondering why, this video backs up footage from Game 5 as evidence of Reimer’s successes against Bergeron. (Tyler Seguin’s been pretty frustrated by Reimer, too, as he’s managed zero goals on 26 shots at the moment.)
If the Toronto Maple Leafs extend their first-round series against the Boston Bruins by winning Game 5, then they should probably thank goalie James Reimer.
The underrated netminder has had a strong Friday so far in stopping all 25 Bruins shots through two periods, but if you’d prefer to point to highlights, one could argue that his stop against Patrice Bergeron was his best one of the 2013 playoffs so far:
Tyler Bozak scored the game’s first goal while the Leafs were shorthanded shortly after that impressive save, so people might just point to that stop as a turning point of Game 5. If nothing else, it was a fantastic stop.