It was a less than ideal start for goalie James Reimer and the Toronto Maple Leafs against their rivals, the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.
The Habs opened the scoring with two goals in one minute and five seconds earlier in the first period. Max Pacioretty got Montreal on the board, ripping a wrist shot by Reimer on the glove side. Rene Bourque tallied shortly after, again beating Reimer on the glove side.
Reimer’s had a rough go of late, allowing 11 goals combined over his last three starts prior to Saturday. Of course, much has been made about the recent comments from head coach Randy Carlyle about Reimer and his play.
“He was OK. He was just OK,” Carlyle said of Reimer after a recent loss to Detroit, as per the Toronto Star.
Reimer’s agent Ray Petkau also sounded off on his client’s recent struggles with a recent tweet. He later clarified it wasn’t directed at the Leafs’ coach.
Now, it should be mentioned that later in the period, Reimer made a nice glove save off Pacioretty to keep Montreal’s lead at two goals. Shortly after, Joffrey Lupul scored to cut the Habs’ lead in half.
The Habs took a 3-2 lead into the first intermission.
Maple Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle felt goaltender James Reimer was “just okay” in Tuesday’s 3-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings, per TSN.ca. Nevertheless, he started Reimer again tonight and so far it’s been a rough outing.
Radko Gudas got the Tampa Bay Lightning on the board early with a shot off the draw that Reimer didn’t see through traffic and consequently didn’t react to until it was too late.
Reimer has since surrendered a hat trick to Steven Stamkos to give Tampa Bay a 4-2 lead in the second period.
Carlyle’s assessment of Reimer was made more controversial when Reimer’s agent suggested that it was a Toronto tradition to blame the goaltender for poor defensive play. The agent, Ray Petkau, later told TSN’s Bob McKenzie that he wasn’t aware of Carlyle’s comments at the time and didn’t intend for his tweet to be seen as a response to the bench boss.
“That said, obviously this has been a trying season for James but those are issues that we will deal with in the off season,” Petkau added.
Jonathan Bernier has taken the starting job from Reimer, but he is currently unavailable due to a groin injury.
Leafs-Lightning period ends early after Killorn boards Ranger
News and notes from around the crease…
Swiss goalie Reto Berra will make his first start for Colorado since coming over from Calgary at the trade deadline when the Avs take on the Jets in Winnipeg.
Berra, 27, went 9-17-2 with the Flames this year, posting a .897 save percentage and 2.95 GAA. Despite those less-than-stellar numbers, the Avs clearly saw something they liked as they traded a second-round pick to acquire Berra, then immediately signed him to a three-year contract extension.
For the Jets, Al Montoya will make his third straight start in place of injured No. 1 Ondrej Pavelec.
Remier in for Leafs
After rumblings Toronto might turn to third-stringer Drew MacIntyre, James Reimer will get the nod tonight against Tampa Bay.
Following Tuesday’s 3-2 loss to Detroit, Reimer was a hot topic of conversation when his agent tweeted out “As is customary in Toronto, when your team plays poor defensively game after game you blame your goalie.”
Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle didn’t seem all that impressed with Reimer’s body of work against Detroit, but saw enough to give him the start against the Bolts.
Speaking of Tampa Bay, Ben Bishop will get the call in goal.
Blues at Blackhawks: Ryan Miller vs. Corey Crawford
Predators at Canucks: Eddie Lack for Vancouver, no word yet on a Preds starter.
James Reimer began Thursday night’s game on the end of the bench. By the end, he was being mobbed by his teammates.
Reimer was called into action to begin the second period between his Toronto Maple Leafs and the host L.A. Kings, due to a lower-body injury to Jonathan Bernier. And Reimer was spectacular, stopping all 30 shots he faced. He was under siege in the third period as the Kings first looked for the go-ahead goal and then the equalizer.
In the end, the Leafs prevailed for the 3-2 win. That gives Toronto two wins on their three-game road trip through California, which included games against the Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks, in addition to Thursday’s meeting with the Kings.
For the Kings, it ends their winning streak at eight games.
There were some nervous moments before that, as Reimer was shaken up on a collision with Kings’ center Jarret Stoll in the second period.
Reimer was spectacular afterward, particularly in the third period. He robbed Anze Kopitar with the right pad on what looked to be a sure power play goal. Just seconds later, with Toronto on the penalty kill, Leafs’ forward Mason Raymond ripped a slap shot from his off-wing to give the Leafs a 3-2 lead.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are starting James Reimer against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday. It’s his first appearance since Jan. 25.
Reimer, 25, experienced some tough times in his last two games, allowing four goals in each contest despite playing about half of those games. His last contest against the Blue Jackets didn’t go very well, either, as Reimer gave up six goals on 21 shots in a Nov. 25 loss.
Reimer’s had a solid season overall, collecting a 10-6-1 record and .911 save percentage in 24 games played. Jonathan Bernier is running away with the job, yet Reimer has a chance to elbow in on a few more starts with a strong performance against a Blue Jackets team battling to get into playoff position.