It may have been one of James Reimer’s final starts as a Leaf, depending on how soon Jonathan Bernier returns. It sure has been excruciating to watch this train wreck play out as the team in front of Reimer hasn’t played well enough to help him through his poorest stretch of games as a professional. 14 saves on 14 shots, a few of the challenging variety (the save on Gelinas in the slot was his best of the night), could mean Drew MacIntyre will get the start the next game (if Jonathan Bernier still can’t play).
This latest run of games for Reimer seems to have people running to one polar end of the spectrum or the other; to either lambaste him in a completely over-the-top fashion, or to spring to defend Reimer when it’s plain as day he’s had his chance to run with the net and he dropped the ball at the worst time of the season. It is what it is at this point. 3 goals on 10 shots including a definitive softie, a .870 save percentage over the Leafs’ 5-game losing streak… it is what it is.
Patrick Elias shouldn’t be allowed to go in alone on Reimer with all the time in the world to walk around him (Rielly’s error). That goal cannot be classified as anything close to Reimer’s fault. And Dave Bolland definitely shouldn’t peel for a change with the imminent danger of a rush coming his way and only one defenceman back. But Reimer’s got to come up with a save on the 1st or 3rd goal. The Leafs allowing too many shots over the course of the season doesn’t change the reality for Reimer in these past three or four crucial games. It’s an unforgiving position, but it’s how being a goalie in the NHL works. You’ve got to come up with a few big saves in these important games to be heralded as a quality starter in this League. Reimer’s fully capable of it, he’s shown he’s capable of it, but he’s not showing it right now and you worry his time here has nearly run its course.
Complete frustration has been written all over Phil Kessel these past couple of losses. He chewed out JvR after getting looked off on a 2v1 in last night’s game versus Montreal, and a similar play happened in the 2nd period tonight, followed by some negative body language and Kessel yelling on the bench (it could be heard over the stream with the sound turned up), “he can do whatever he wants out there,” in reference to JvR.
Season-ruining five-game losing streaks will do this. One one hand, it’s understandable and preferable Kessel is absolutely livid with the latest turn of results; on the other, it’s usually not a constructive thing to be going at one another’s throats on the bench.
That goal on his late rush was going in whether it was off his stick or achieved by him bowling through the goalie and carrying it into the net. He’s seething right now, and all of us fans are right there with him.
As far as consolatory positives go, Rielly and Gardiner continue to be sources of light. It was good to see the pair matched with the top powerplay forward unit, leading to Tyler Bozak’s 3-1 goal. And yet…
Amazing neither Gardiner nor Rielly were on to tie. Perfectly summed up by Phaneuf dumping it in for no reason and no retrieval to end game.
— Anthony Petrielli (@APetrielli) March 24, 2014
The Leafs will need to collect 12 points out of the 18 still up for grabs, with two games against the Blues and Bruins in the final nine. It’s all but over.
Toronto Maple Leafs vs New Jersey Devils Mar. 24, 2014
|NEW JERSEY STATISTICS|
|Cory Schneider (14-14-9)||W||23||21||0.913||60:00:00|
|Drew MacIntyre (0-0-0)||14||14||1||36:04:00|
|James Reimer (11-13-1)||L||10||7||0.7||21:50|
|James van Riemsdyk||0||0||26:14:00||1||5||0||0||1||0||0||1||1|
In defense of Clarkson….. he didn't just get shitty all of a suddenly. I remembering going to Jersey last year to see the Leafs and Clarkson, Leo and Reimer were the best players on the ice with Clarkson the best of the three, by far. I spoke with him in Tampa back in Feb. and he said this has been the most difficult year of his career. Clearly he makes too much money and that truth hurts us regarding the cap but no one is working harder or cares more about this team then Clarkson. It would not be easy to go from a highly structured, defensively responsible team like the Devils… through in two suspensions and two injuries all that while trying too hard to justify everyone’s sticker shock as you attempt to fit in to a defensively broken system like we unfortunately have.
Clarkson will never be worth the money (but that’s not his fault) but he will be a valuable player when we are a playoff team.
Posting this as we need some good ju-ju in this place. Tired of being down:
Do you watch English Premier League football? I pay attention but I am not an avid watcher.
LEAF CONNECTION IS AS FOLLOWS:
I jumped on the Manchester City bandwagon in 2012 after they won. Why you ask?
They wear blue (LEAFS), have been successful in the past(LEAFS) but had not won in 44 years.(LEAFS)
And they are always overshadowed by a rival that is always successful and always praised and wear red Manchester United (MTL, DET)
Watch this video…….I beg you, it’s the best……..this is the feeling I want!
We all are that old man in the end.
Obligatory Lupul post.
Clarkson seems to enjoy playing the majority of the game with one hand on his stick. I assume it's because he likes to make it easier on himself to look down and count on his fingers just how many millions of dollars he is stealing from this franchise this year. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5....they're all there David.
There is bad goaltending...average goaltending....and above average goaltending....lets face it...Reimer did not even provide average goaltending over the last few games....its funny because everyone has very different expectations when it comes to goaltending....you see a goalie get beat on a break away and you'll hear people say...well it was a break away...you can't blame the goalie? yes...and no....its not really unrealistic to expect your goalie to make a save on a break away from time to time....look at shootout numbers...most favour the goalie....same goes for making big saves....its not unrealistic to expect your goalie to make one or two big saves a period....obviously they can't stop everything...but its strange how some try to justify and accept average or just plain bad goaltending....your making millions and playing in the NHL for a reason....your expected to be able to deliver the goods more often than not...
@GiuseppeM I watched this live and knew the Man City story. Really felt happy for the fans, something I aspire to experience at some point.
@GiuseppeM They are baby blue. TRUE Blue and white - West Bromwich Albion
@peterbleafs He needs some pp time. Put him in front of the net instead of raymond on the second unit.
@TheCanucksnaphook I think he'll come around. I just think he needs to be put somewhere he can succeed. Third line is good for him. Play reliable hockey and basic plays, keep the energy up. etc, etc
@TheCanucksnaphook For One million dollars a year.
@TheCanucksnaphook Your beer league team?
@TheCanucksnaphook yeah, sure, he might score 20 goals a season in your beer league.
@BBirde Gotta put him back with Bozak and Lupul. We need to get Lupul going again. JVR could create space for Kadri as well.
@lukethenuke Some guy with a 4th line ceiling who would therefore see 3 minutes of ice time a game under Carlyle. Wouldn't mind them swinging for the bleachers on a pick this year.
@BBirde My favourite goal of the year. Lupul tying it against the Oilers with 5 seconds left is a close second. Those were fun times.
He needs both his hands to count the term of that contract though... Maybe that's why he falls all the time
@Hammertownleaffan its so he has one hand free to break his many falls to the ice
@Burtonboy I'd really like to know how the hell we played more games than just about every team going into the break, yet the back to backs keep coming......absolutely nutty scheduling
@DeclanK It is falling until they win. Now they really have to go 6 and 3 as a minimum to get in, teams behind them have games in hand.
@dlb eh absolutely nothing wrong with the way Gleason played that 2 on 1
@dlb eh Gleason's play on the 2-on-1 was textbook. Took the pass away and gave the shot to the goalie.
That's how it's done.
@dlb eh Yes and no...I hate to pile on d men as those plays are split-second, but he really needed to just commit a little more to either side. Reimer probably could have had it too. I also could have grown up liking a franchise that didn't rip my heart out every year. Lessons, my friend....
Dont care they get paid handsomly for that. Those excuses arent good enough. I get it sucka and its tiring but they have to suck it up. Lets not forget its a fuckin sport they love to play. They only have 82 games. They play ov average 18min a game(obv some more) and they have lackies who take care of carrying and seting up most of their shit they travel with. I just dont feel bad when i hear these excuses. Oh its the end of the season and yout tired? Well so is everyone else. Suck it up.
@ConnorCrisp Bill F'n Murray
@BBirde @Hammertownleaffan@peterbleafsHaha don't be testy. I'm a sarcastic prick, I know it. Just tough to watch people defend the guy. I hope he proves me wrong (hell, at this point, I don't have a choice). It's just tough to watch him contribute sweet f*** all every single game. 2 points in 26 games is insane. You or I could do that. I hope he figures it out and/or we put something in place to help him out.
@TheCanucksnaphook hopefully he accidentally signs a contract for 3 years and no raise in pay