James Reimer

Are the Leafs finally primed to ride Reimer?


Want a sign that the Toronto Maple Leafs are truly handing the torch to James Reimer, at least for the moment? Tonight might provide that evidence.

After another sterling Reimer performance boosted the Leafs to a 2-1 shootout win against the Carolina Hurricanes, Mike Babcock was convinced of his earlier notion to give Reimer back-to-back starts.

That’s one of those things that normally happen for workhorse-type No. 1 goalies, right?

Really, how could Toronto deny Reimer, unless tanking truly is the goal?

Look at all of these Reimer stats:

Meanwhile, fair or not, Jonathan Bernier‘s stuck at a 0-7-1 record with poor individual stats.

Will this stick even if Reimer has a hiccup? Maybe, maybe not. So far, he’s taking that decision out of Babcock’s hands.

Duchene, Zuccarello and Reimer are NHL’s three stars of the week

Matt Duchene

Avalanche center Matt Duchene, Rangers winger Mats Zuccarello and Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer have been named the NHL’s three stars for the past week.

From NHL.com:

Duchene led the NHL with four goals and eight points – including three multi-point performances in as many outings – to help the Avalanche (7-9-1, 15 points) begin their season-long, seven-game road trip with a 3-0-0 record.

Zuccarello paced the NHL with five assists and ranked second with seven points in four outings to help the League-leading Rangers (14-2-2, 30 points) extend their winning streak to nine games and point streak to 13 contests (11-0-2).

Reimer went 3-0-0 with a 1.62 goals-against average and .952 save percentage to backstop the Maple Leafs (5-9-4, 14 points) to three wins in four games.

Not a bad response to those trade rumors, eh?

Related: Duchene ‘hopeful’ that he’ll stay with Avs

Is it Reimer time in Toronto?


Sometimes, the best runs in sports happen because a chosen player gets injured.

The NFL may hold the most obvious examples: Drew Bledsoe making way for Tom Brady and Trent Green getting injured so Kurt Warner could conjure some magic.

It’s way, way, waaaay too early to say that Jonathan Bernier‘s injury opened the same door for James Reimer, at least from a long-term standpoint.

That said, the juicier question is: should that be the case?

Don Cherry went out of his way to make an interesting point: management may want Bernier to be “the guy” instead of Reimer.

This often happens with goalies, particularly in the case of a No. 1 who makes more money than his upstart backup. After all, a GM doesn’t want to look dumb in paying more for the lesser option, right?

There’s an interesting wrinkle with Reimer: he’s been the stat-leaning choice for some time, or at least a stat-head darling (as some are still kind to Bernier while also elevating Reimer).

Let’s be clear, though: Reimer’s recent play sure seems like it might force the issue.

Reimer stopped 43 out of 45 shots to help Toronto beat Vancouver 4-2, giving him three straight wins. The Maple Leafs have generated at least a point in five straight games and a 4-1-2 mark in his last seven starts.

That’s not a huge sample, although Reimer’s shown flashes of brilliance before. Can the Maple Leafs really afford to look the other way?

(Of course, assuming that they want to win …)

Yeah, Reimer wants this Zetterberg goal back


In an age of short clips and highlight reels, a bad goal can overshadow an otherwise solid performance.

James Reimer might experience that feeling tonight, as the goal he gave up against Henrik Zetterberg (see video above) was just unsightly.

Reimer’s shown signs of brilliance with Jonathan Bernier banged up, yet the wins have only been there sparingly, and moments like these might just sink him.

So far, it’s a matter of good news for Zetterberg:

And troubling stuff like this collision:

Goalie nods: After stymieing Stars, Reimer gets second straight start for Leafs

Valeri Nichushkin; James Reimer

Monday against Dallas, James Reimer gave the Leafs something they haven’t had much of this season — good goaltending.

Reimer stopped 43 of 44 Stars shots, allowing Toronto to beat one of the NHL’s hottest teams by a score of 4-1.

He’ll get another chance tonight against Winnipeg, after Leafs coach Mike Babcock said Reimer “absolutely” earned a second straight start.

“If you’re him, you want to play every night, so to me you play good and you get to start the next game and you make sure you play good again and you get the start after that and you just keep going that way,” Babcock told reporters.

Reimer’s previous three starts had been less than stellar, as evidenced by his overall save percentage of .908, which is still slightly better than Jonathan Bernier‘s .899.

Ondrej Pavelec will start for the Jets. He’s 3-3-1 with a .919 save percentage.


Brian Elliott will make his first appearance in the Blues’ net since Oct. 24. Jake Allen has started the last four games, including last night’s 3-0 loss to the Kings. Corey Crawford will go for the Blackhawks.

— No confirmation on either starter for the Panthers-Ducks game in Anaheim. But bet on Roberto Luongo versus Frederik Andersen.

Ryan Miller likely for the Canucks. Marc-Andre Fleury likely for the Penguins.