Goalie nods: Reimer gets the high-powered Stars

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James Reimer will try to improve on what’s been a tough season to date when he gets the start tonight in Toronto versus the high-powered Stars.

Reimer may not have received the assignment if Jonathan Bernier were feeling better.

“Bernier got bumped in the last game (Saturday night against Pittsburgh) and isn’t feeling as good, so we’re going to go with Reimer,” coach Mike Babcock said, per the Toronto Sun.

Reimer is 1-1-1 with an .876 save percentage. A week ago, the last time he played, he allowed four goals on 24 shots in a 4-3 loss to Arizona.

The Stars, led by Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, are the NHL’s third-highest scoring team.

Antti Niemi is expected to start for Dallas.

Elsewhere…

Corey Crawford for the Blackhawks. No word on a Kings starter. Los Angeles also plays tomorrow in St. Louis, so Jonathan Quick and Jhonas Enroth could both see action. It’s presumed Quick will start tonight.

—  Ryan Miller for the Canucks. No word on a Flyers starter. Philadelphia also plays tomorrow in Edmonton, so Steve Mason and Michal Neuvirth could both see action.

Goalie nods: Reimer makes first start of the season

James Reimer will get his first start of the 2015-16 season on Saturday night against Ottawa.

Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock made it clear from the beginning that Jonathan Bernier was going to start on Wednesday against Montreal and Friday in Detroit, while Reimer would get in against the Sens.

“I’ve known this for a long time that (Bernier is) starting and he’s starting on Wednesday and he’s starting on Friday. Reims is starting on Saturday,” Babcock said before the season began.

Things haven’t gone according to plan for Toronto through two games.

Not only have they lost both contests, but Bernier was pulled in yesterday’s 4-0 loss to the Red Wings, and the team has scored only one goal this season.

Reimer, who stopped 12 of 13 shots in just under 40 minutes of action against Detroit, will go up against Craig Anderson.

Elsewhere…

Cam Talbot will try to get his first win as an Oiler as they travel to Nashville to take on the Predators. Pekka Rinne will start for the Predators.

Carey Price and Tuukka Rask will face-off when the Canadiens and Bruins renew hostilities at the TD Garden in Boston.

Petr Mrazek will be between the pipes when the Red Wings take on the ‘Canes in Carolina. Cam Ward gets the nod for the Hurricanes.

Keith Kinkaid for the Devils. Braden Holtby makes his first start of the year in the Capitals’ season opener.

Steve Mason for the Flyers. Roberto Luongo for the Panthers in their opener.

-Columbus hasn’t confirmed who their starter will be in the back half of their home-and-home with the Rangers. Henrik Lundqvist will start for New York.

Jake Allen makes his first start of the regular season for St. Louis. Devan Dubnyk for the Wild.

-The Islanders have yet to confirm their starter for tonight’s game in Chicago. Scott Darling for the ‘Hawks after Corey Crawford helped spoil the party in Brooklyn yesterday.

Antti Niemi gets the call for Dallas after he blanked the Penguins in his first start. Semyon Varlamov for Colorado.

Jonas Hiller for Calgary. Ryan Miller for the Canucks.

-The Penguins haven’t confirmed who their starter will be in Arizona tonight. Mike Smith will likely play in back-to-back games after beating the Kings on Friday.

-The Ducks have yet to confirm their starter. Martin Jones will start for San Jose.

 

Pending UFA Reimer wants to stick with Leafs

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James Reimer‘s tenure with the Maple Leafs has been rocky at times, but he doesn’t want to see it come to an end.

“This is the only organization I know and it was always my dream when I got drafted to play my whole career here,” Reimer told the Toronto Sun. “It’s one of the best, I mean it is the best place to play and by far the best place to win and having seen that there is no place I would rather go. Hopefully, I can keep working hard and keep earning the job and we can have a lot of success.”

He’ll be eligible to test the unrestricted free agent waters for the first time in the summer of 2016 after completing his current two-year, $4.6 million contract. Although there was a time when it looked like Reimer would be the team’s starting goaltender, he’s now 27 years old and has spent the last two seasons primarily serving as the understudy.

The Maple Leafs’ decision to bring in Jonathan Bernier before the start of the 2013-14 season and Reimer’s streaky play have contributed to that. His lack of playing time has led to tension in the past, but everyone will get a fresh start under new coach Mike Babcock and GM Lou Lamoriello.

Goalie Nods: Reimer returns home

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Reimer looks to get the Leafs back in the win column

The Toronto Maple Leafs have just one win in their last four and are heading into a back-to-back situation tonight when they visit the Winnipeg Jets. Manitoba native James Reimer, who is 6-6-0 with a 3.39 G.A.A and a .905 save percentage, is expected to get the start in goal for the Leafs. Reimer allowed three goals on 41 shots in the Maple Leafs’ 3-2 loss to the Lightning on Monday. The 26-year-old allowed four goals on 19 shots in his only start at MTS Centre last season.

Michael Hutchinson gets the start in goal for the Jets.

Elsewhere…

Canadiens at Penguins: Carey Price vs. Marc-Andre Fleury

Sabres at Rangers: Jhonas Enroth vs. Henrik Lundqvist

Flyers at Devils: Steve Mason vs. Cory Schneider

Wild at Stars: Darcy Kuemper vs. Kari Lehtonen

Blue Jackets at Coyotes: Sergei Bobrovsky vs. Mike Smith

Red Wings at Canucks: Jimmy Howard vs. Ryan Miller

Blues at Sharks: Brian Elliott vs. Antti Niemi

Cardiac Cats: Panthers win as Reimer, Leafs fade in third

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With Jonathan Bernier out sick, it looked like James Reimer might just nab a victory for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Then the Florida Panthers’ domination of the third period happened.

The Maple Leafs carried a 4-2 lead into the final frame after a wild six-goal second period even though the Panthers generated a 29-13 shot advantage through the first 40 minutes of the game. Puck luck swerved sharply in the other direction during the final frame, however, as Florida won 6-4 after scoring four times on just six shots on goal.

Even with one of those tallies hitting an empty net, it’s likely that Reimer will feel the heat in Toronto after this loss.

He’d probably want a few goals back, including Dmitry Kulikov’s first tally of 2014-15:

Randy Carlyle wouldn’t even give Reimer a vote of confidence after tonight’s game, as TSN’s Jonas Siegel reports:

While much of the focus will be on Toronto’s troubles, the Panthers deserve some credit for being tenacious in recent close games:

As of this writing, the Maple Leafs would still grab the first wild card spot in the East while Florida would be on top of the bubble. The Panthers trail Toronto by three standings points, yet have three games in hand, so they might close in on the Buds in the standings in the same way they did during today’s game.