Depending upon how you view James Reimer’s time with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Saturday’s 1-0 loss to the Ottawa Senators probably seemed fitting.
Those who defend him – like, say, his agent – would probably nod their heads wistfully at his stats on the day: 36 saves, one goal allowed and another mark in the “L” column.
As a restricted free agent, the Maple Leafs have a considerable amount of control over the 26-year-old netminder’s future. Even so, Reimer told reporters including TSN’s Jonas Siegel that he couldn’t help but shake the emotional feeling that tonight might represent his final moment in a Maple Leafs uniform.
With some new faces in the organization, there might be an extra drive to remove Reimer … or maybe a chance for the still fairly new netminder to receive a clean slate. If nothing else, Reimer admits that the thought of playing somewhere else crossed his mind on Saturday.
Update: Here is video of the full (emotional) interview:
Is James Reimer going to ask the Maple Leafs to move him this summer?
Well, he’s not ready to say yet. But he did appreciate why reporters would ask.
“Let’s wait a couple of days before we talk about [the possibility of asking for a trade],” Remier said on Wednesday, per TSN. “Obviously, it’s a fair question.”
To say it’s been a tough year for Reimer would be a big understatement. After backstopping Toronto to its first playoff appearance in seven years last season, Reimer watched as the Leafs went out and acquired Jonathan Bernier from Los Angeles, then watched as the one-time goalie timeshare quickly turned into Bernier as the No. 1, and Reimer as the No. 2.
But that was just the start of things.
Toronto’s late-season collapse coincided with Bernier getting hurt and Reimer coming on in relief, which led to Randy Carlyle’s now-infamous “he was okay, you know, just okay,” remark following a 3-2 loss to Detroit, a comment that seemed to sting Reimer.
Looking ahead, though, one has to think Reimer would be a considerable target for teams looking to upgrade their goaltending this summer. A pending RFA, he’s in the last of a three-year, $5.4 million deal and is only 26 years old, posting really strong save percentages during both last regular season (.924) and opening-round playoff loss to Boston (.923).
He also got off to a tremendous start this year, going 5-0-0 in October with a .949 save percentage and one shutout.
Toronto goalie Jonathan Bernier is out three weeks with an MCL strain, leaving the netminding duties to James Reimer for the final four games of the Maple Leafs’ regular season.
Bernier was hurt last night versus Boston. Reimer came in to replace him, stopping 10 of 11 shots in a 4-3 overtime victory.
Even though the Leafs’ playoff hopes remain slim after beating the Bruins, Reimer has much to prove. His .896 save percentage in March, much of it compiled while Bernier was out recovering from a groin injury, made him one of the defining faces of Toronto’s epic eight-game losing streak.
There has been speculation that Reimer — a pending restricted free agent — will request a trade this summer. The 26-year-old is 12-13-1 with a .908 save percentage on the season.
Toronto hosts Winnipeg Saturday before finishing its schedule with three games on the road against Tampa Bay, Florida, and Ottawa.
It remains to be seen if James Reimer will lose his fifth game in a row on Sunday – the Toronto Maple Leafs could very well make a game of it against the New Jersey Devils – but his tough times continue either way.
The Devils scored three goals on 10 shots against Reimer tonight, chasing him a little less than two minutes into the second period.
It’s not just the last five games that have been difficult for the 26-year-old, either. Things have been rough for him since Jan. 23, as these game logs show. In short, he’s only won once in that span with six regulation losses and two non-decisions.
Some believe Reimer has been thrown under the bus while a team craters in front of him – just ask his agent – but performances like tonight’s will lead people to blame the young netminder. Especially if the Maple Leafs slide all the way out of the playoffs.
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.