The Maple Leafs are playing in the second half of a back-to-back tonight in Detroit and it showed in the first period.
Toronto was out-shot 12-7, but thanks to the solid play of goaltender James Reimer, it was scoreless after 20 minutes.
Here’s a look at Reimer’s first period of work:
Reimer, who is making his first appearance since Nov. 18, is 4-3-0 with an .898 save percentage and a 3.64 goals-against average this season.
The Leafs meanwhile are playing in their sixth of 18 back-to-back games this season. Toronto defeated the Calgary Flames 4-1 at Air Canada Centre on Tuesday night.
The pre-overtime dry scrape will be one of the topics discussed at today’s NHL GM meetings in Toronto and, prior to tonight’s game against Nashville, a few Maple Leafs players shared their thoughts on the procedure — including one that spends more time on the ice than anybody.
“It’s too bad it takes so long,” Toronto goalie James Reimer said of the dry scrape. “It’s a good idea, it really is, to get so that you can have more offense and better play.
“It’s a great idea, but it’s just too bad that it takes so long.”
Today, TSN’s Darren Dreger reported that the dry scrape — where Zambonis clear the ice without flooding it — might be scrapped as early as this weekend, with the NHL implementing shovel crews to clean the playing surface instead.
The pre-OT dry scrape, in its first year of existence at the NHL level, has been met with its fair share of critics thus far. Some say it takes too long for a maximum five minutes of hockey; others say it breaks up the momentum between regulation and overtime, and critics often note the Ontario Hockey League got rid of the dry scrape in early October.
As for Reimer — while he said the procedure can be lengthy at times, he also acknowledged how beneficial it is for the ice surface.
“It’s great for the game play,” he said. “It obviously helps. It’s the end of the game, the end of the period, the end of any period, but especially the third.
“The ice is just chewed up and gross and so snowy so for them to dry scrape, it’s great for that reason.”
(Quotes gathered by PHT’s Dhiren Mahiban)
Leafs starter James Reimer lost the race to a lose puck and the scramble was on.
Tyson Strachan beat the goaltender and centered a feed to Zemgus Girgensons for his second career shorthanded goal. The Sabres lead the Leafs 2-0 after one period.
All the latest from the blue paint…
Leafs stick with Reimer
James Reimer said he re-upped in Toronto this summer because he would be given a shot at the No. 1 gig.
Well, he’s certainly getting that chance.
Reimer will make his third straight start tonight when the Leafs host Detroit at the ACC. The 26-year-old ‘tender has won two straight while posting a 2.24 GAA and .920 save percentage, which is why he’ll get the nod over Jonathan Bernier, who hasn’t suited up since replacing the injured Reimer against the Rangers on Sunday.
For Detroit, Jimmy Howard will get the nod in goal.
All Kuemper, all the time
Minnesota is playing just its third game of the season tonight — thank the schedule-makers for that one — and it’ll be Darcy Kuemper in goal once again, looking to extend his shutout streak beyond its current 120 minutes.
Kuemper has stopped all 46 shots faced this season (granted, all were against Colorado) and will look to do more of the same this evening against the Ducks in Anaheim.
Speaking of the Ducks, Frederik Andersen will get the call in net.
Panthers at Sabres: Roberto Luongo vs. Jhonas Enroth
Flames at Jackets: Karri Ramo vs. Sergei Bobrovsky
Preds at Jets: Pekka Rinne vs. Ondrej Pavelec
Canucks at Oilers: Ryan Miller vs. Ben Scrivens
Related: Scrivens isn’t ‘cowering,’ tells coach he’s going to win tonight
It looked not long ago that James Reimer would be playing for anyone but the Maple Leafs in 2014-15. Tonight, however, he’ll be making his second straight start for Toronto in a game against Colorado at the ACC.
Reimer got the win Sunday at MSG, stopping 24 of 26 Rangers shots before leaving as a precautionary measure in the third period after a collision with Rangers forward Dominic Moore. The Leafs won the game, 6-3 — an important result for them after dropping their first two contests with Jonathan Bernier not playing particularly well between the pipes.
The Leafs re-signed Reimer in July and apparently told him there was a “definite opportunity” to win back the starting job that he’d lost last season to Bernier.
Now, Reimer’s hardly won back the job yet. He hasn’t even lasted a full game yet. But it’ll be interesting to see how all this plays out. When a team has two capable netminders, it usually is.