The Toronto Maple Leafs coaching staff will have a tough decision regarding who to start tonight vs the New Jersey Devils. James Reimer has had a rough go the last 3 games and isn’t playing as well as the Maple Leafs staff, his teammates and fans have come to expect from him. Last night’s game vs Montreal is probably one he’d like to have another try at; 2, and debatably 3 goals, were savable pucks, combined with some savable goals vs Detroit and Tampa Bay, and we have a hornets nest of differing opinions as to who is at fault for his sub-par play. The season hangs on the play of the goaltender in the final games of the season.
Eric T. from Broadstreet hockey had a good post on back-to-back games for goalies and was able to glean the following stats:
Rested goalies playing behind a tired team had the exact same .912 save percentage as Kurt found overall for rested goalies — which presumably means that rested goalies behind a rested team were also at .912, and that the team’s rest has no impact on the goalie’s save percentage. The entire 0.020 difference would then be due to goalie fatigue.
The alternative is to have an AHL Journeyman—and a good one, at that—start his first NHL game this season, with the season hanging on his performance. Sitting Reimer, a goalie with a proven track record of success, despite him having a rough stretch the last 3 games, is a tough call.
Armed with all of the above information makes starting Drew McIntyre a distinct possibility, but will be unpopular and is loaded with risk.
Over to you, Randy. There’s no importance to these games at all.
A 5-4-1 finish to year gives Leafs decent shot at playoffs. And 6-4-0 or 5-3-2 should almost guarantee they make it.
— James Mirtle (@mirtle) March 23, 2014
That said, if Leafs go pointless in their next two games, you can stick a fork in them. Even Columbus in 10th is on pace for 91 points.
— James Mirtle (@mirtle) March 23, 2014
Maple Leafs / Devils Starting Lineups
Actually, one more thing, we have the dumbest coach ever. Cody Franson has 9 points in his last 32 games, 2 in his last 15, 0 PPP in his last 15, 4 PPP in his last 37 games. And yet who's the player who plays during every important powerplay? Who played for the whole 5 on 3? Who played at the end of the last two games to try and force a tie? Cody fuckin Franson. If you can't find a way to ice your best lineup during the most important parts of the game in the most important time of the year, you shouldn't coach in this league(and that's on top of everything else he's done). The personnel and lineup decisions he makes are completely baffling.
Last comment on Reimer tonight: I am not letting Reimer off the hook. He's definitely blown his chance to shine these last two weeks. But man oh man is Carlyle ever an idiot. I know some people will say his comment was harmless, but has the guy never followed hockey as a fan? You've got a nervous as shit goalie who hasn't played in 3 months and you know you need to trust him for a week or two. A coach with an ounce of brains would have called out the team and said something like "We need to stop looking at goaltending and worry about playing a team game - scoring and defending and back-checking and hitting and winning battles". Instead, he puts ALL the pressure on Reimer, and the result is this catastrophe. Dumb.
I knew Reimer was finished early in the season during our first losing streak where he got shellacked for 5 goals before being pulled and called out his team mates for doing sweet fuck all in front of him in terms of defense. That night all the other leaf players ran away from the mics, Dion would not comment and only Lupul spoke to the media agreeing with Reimer. I knew then that this team would do nothing for Reimer in terms of support. If he plays lights out - great the team will score a few to win but they wont go out of their way to bail his ass out-not after calling them out. Just my take on his situation.
I said this in a thread before and I'm saying it again. If Reimer's feelings are hurt because of us acquiring Bernier he may as well just stop playing in the NHL. Carlyle gave him the first start of the season (pretty big deal). He gave him the next few until he faltered. Then Bernier played and never really gave it up. When Reimer was given the start in a few of them he never really played like he wanted to take it back. Bernier has waited 5 years to be a starter and it shows. He wants this and plays hard. Reimer seems to have ditched his happy go lucky mentality and is playing the victim quite a bit this year. Why not just shut up and put up?
I am still waiting for someone to explain to me how could a .915% Cujo and a .910% Potvin take their teams further than a .924% Reimer?
All you people blaming the defense act as if the other teams don't make mistakes. The only way a game is even competitive is when another team makes mistakes allowing a team to take advantage. Watch another teams games and notice they make quite a few of the same mistakes we do. The only reason ours are blown out of proportion is because we're fans of this team. We have a vested interest in them. So we micro analyze every little detail.
@Cameron19 I don't think what Carlisle said was wrong and I believe there was a method to his comment...most competitors play better when they are angry and have a point to prove. Who knew that Reimer would sulk and piss away his chance.
@Cameron19 i think Carlyle deserves plenty of blame, but you think he should be blamed for destroying his goalie's confidence all because of a "he played just okay."
I'm sorry, but if you're that fragile, you do not belong at the goalie position or in a professional league with high stakes.
@Belfour20/JB-45 Frederik Andersen
@BBirde If he's thinking like that, then he has stopped thinking about what's best for the team; he's thinking about himself too much (scene from Star Wars between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker). Management brought in Bernier knowing that the young Leafs may rely heavily on goaltending; thus, the 1A and 1B concept. Bernier is getting burned out as the season wore on; the game plan had been to use both goalies all along.
The problem was that Reimer's faltering may have been his own doing, his attitude should have been to learn from each other and get better. Carey Price was in the same situation when he was behind Halak, but Price did become better and turned out to be one of Canada's elite goaltenders.
@BBirde Why do people think this? Reimer got the first start against the Habs, on the road. Then Bernier got the next 4 starts, including the home opener against Ottawa where he sucked. But you know what...? He was allowed to stay in the game, something Reimer was NOT allowed to do against Edmonton.
If people honestly think Reimer was treated the same as Bernier out of the gate they weren't paying attention.
@BBirde Reimer and Bernier were both in the top 10 for goalie stats until December. So how was he playing like he didn't really want it back? Only difference in that time frame was that Reimer was getting the harder starts, and then not being allowed to play through them.
But it has nothing to do with his feelings. It's about confidence. There's a reason that common NHL wisdom is to NEVER fault your goalie - and it's because anyone with a brain knows that you need your goalie to be confident. Same reason that the expression goes "teams that have two number one goalies really have zero".
@Belfour20/JB-45 I don't think we're making the playoffs at this point.
I probably won't come on the site anymore. It is so annoying coming on here to 100 people bitching
but that is reimer's fault too because they are making the mistakes because they don't trust him
@BBirde Dude, we are a historically bad defensive team. One of the worst shot differentials ever and statistically have the worst defensive game in the league. 73 straight games and I can't count a single 60 minute effort. 73 games and they still get hemmed in like no other team. 73 games and they still give up an absurd amount of odd-man rushes and breakaways. yet it's the goalie's fault 100% when the goals go in.
@Hmmm Price was awful the year Halak shared the starts. A lot of Hab fans were furious they traded Halak instead of Price. It was after they traded Halak that Price broke out for good. I think it's been shown over and over again that 1A and 1B don't work.
Bernier was the anointed one even though Reimer had almost identical career numbers and was the incumbent. Bernier was given 8 of the first 10 starts, including the home opener. And their numbers were almost identical THIS year until just before Christmas. This BS about Reimer somehow dropping the ball when he was in a fight for the starter's job is completely made up.
To be fair, Bernier got most of the tough starts to begin the season as he played most of the back end of the back to back games. He shut down Philly and Calgary almost single handily. Not taking away anything that Reimer did though at the beginning of this season nor last season.
maybe if we had a coach that knew how to use his players period would be nice. Clarkson is being misused. He was a top 6 guy and on some nights a top 3 guy in New Jersey. They knew how to use him properly... Carlyle shoves him on the third line with McClement for most of the season. Not ignoring the fact that Clarkson isn't putting forward a honest effort but like you say, he's misusing Holland, well, IMO he's misusing Franson and Gardiner and Clarkson as well...
should note that by misusing Franson, I mean giving him top PP time and top 4 minutes.
@djamon @loomx That "bum" has as many points as Clarkson in 10-15 less games and hasn't been spoonfed the minutes that Clarkson has. Clarkson's frequently been given undeserved minutes on the 2nd line while Holland has been forced to play with Clarkson and Raymond. Holland's actually better defensively than Clarkson and that's because Clarkson is horrible. Clarkson literally provides nothing to this team. Maybe if we had a coach who knew how to maximize his offense, Holland would be even more useful.
@loomx Orr, yes. Clarkson...no way. Holland has been terrible this year. You want to bitch about Carlyle and Nonis? How about bitching about the fact that they wasted 30 spots in the draft for what that bum has given us.
@loomx Holland and Ashton...? I thought we were trying to win.
@djamon If you mean "he was okay" comment, I think it was the media that made it sound like "RC said you was just okay". You can say the exact same words but with different body language and it would be perceived with different meaning or intention.
The media is at fault for trying to force a trade, perhaps they were paid by an owner of another team or the media wanted to sell more papers?
RC probably could have realized his goalie was in a fragile state of mind and avoided all comments regarding the goalie, but Reimer could also have said "no comment, I didn't hear his exact words yet".
@Hmmm I agree with some of this, but one of the analysts said something I found insightful. He said it was one thing for a coach to challenge a skater to be better, He can just work harder during the games. But how can a goalie try harder? It was the wrong move, IMO for Carlyle to back-hand Reimer in the media that way.
@djamon He certainly played bad, but not sure it was 1A and 1B. Perhaps, it's one way to look at it. The other way is that Price learned from Halak and became better. Rookies sometimes do well, but by the 2nd season, teams develop a book on a goalie's tendencies. It's not enough to remain status quo, Reimer has to rise over his challengers adaptations to him.