Tag:Scott Clemmensen
Posted on: November 10, 2011 3:10 pm
Edited on: November 10, 2011 3:23 pm
 

Reimer's mom concerned about son's health

Remimer1By Brian Stubits

One thing is becoming increasingly clear with each passing game in Toronto: the Maple Leafs miss James Reimer in net. What's becoming increasly unclear is when he will return and what he's even suffering from.

You know it's bad when his own mom isn't sure what exactly is going on. How do we know? Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star asked her.

“We’re beginning to be a little more concerned than we were at first,” Reimer's mother told Feschuk. “At first, when (the Maple Leafs) said it was just going to be a day-to-day whiplash kind of thing, you just wait it out. But definitely our concerns are getting a little stronger as time that passes. We’re definitely hoping there are going to be some answers coming out of the team shortly, what they’re doing or what they’re planning to do.”

And more...

“That’s the frustrating part for us -- not knowing what it is, and why they’re not calling it a concussion when they say ‘concussion-like symptoms,’” Marlene Reimer said. “Like, how is that not a concussion? ... The initial test showed him to be clear of a concussion. But as it goes on, it’s kind of mystifying. He’s okay some days. And some days he’s definitely not okay.”

Read the full story for more.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch (or Toronto), Leafs coach Ron Wilson shared his displeasure with a member of the media calling Reimer's mom. But with how quiet they have been about the injury, the hungry Toronto media would find a way to get some answers.

On the ice, the fans are growing more and more anxious about Reimer's return. That's because Jonas Gustavsson has been ... not very good. He was booed mercilessly before being pulled in Toronto's 5-1 loss to Florida on Tuesday. There has been a lot of discussion about the Leafs trying to get a third goalie on the roster.

The belief is that GM Brian Burke, especially if Reimer continues to sit out, will look for another goalie. Either way, Reimer playing or not, it would be wise for Toronto to get a quality backup. Gustavsson has about worn out his welcome and Ben Scrivens hasn't inspired a lot of confidence either.

Among the names you are most likely to hear for possibilities in that backup spot are Marty Turco and the one I will continue to mention, Scott Clemmensen in Florida.

In the meantime, Mama Reimer will continue to wonder how exactly her son is doing.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: October 27, 2011 1:12 pm
Edited on: October 27, 2011 6:55 pm
 

Leafs goalie James Reimer out; worry in Toronto?

By Brian Stubits

The Toronto Maple Leafs put a lot of eggs in the basket of James Reimer this season to be their No. 1 goaltender. So when he goes down, they get a little worried in Toronto. Especially when the word "concussion" is being tossed around.

Reimer was out Thursday night when the Leafs opened the new(er) Madison Square Garden against the Rangers. He's out after suffering a "whip-lash like" injury against the Canadiens. So the Leafs will have to start Jonas Gustavsson and they recalled Ben Scrivens to be the backup.

The only thing more frightening to Leafs fans than The Monster getting an increased number of starts? Him using the word "concussion" about Reimer. That's what he said Reimer is suffering from earlier on Thursday. Coach Ron Wilson later said team doctors haven't indicated if Reimer has a concussion or not.

"Last time I checked, I don’t have a medical degree and I don’t think The Monster does either," Wilson said.

GM Brian Burke isn't ready to call it a concussion at this point. Just see this tweet from Toronto sports radio host Daren Millard.

"Brian Burke says reimer being treated for concussion like symptoms. But club sticking to whip-lash."

Let's just put it this way: The team is being very careful -- as it should be -- regarding Reimer and will rely on Gustavsson and Scrivens in the meantime. This is the gamble that Burke took before the season, keeping Gustavsson as his backup. Just to bring a little context here, Gustavsson has a 4.88 goals against and .857 save percentage this season in his three games. This will give Toronto another chance to give Gustavsson a good look and see how capable he is, but if past performance is any indication of future outcomes, well ...

If it is determined that Reimer will be out for a longer length of time -- which doesn't seem to be the case -- or just the realization that if Reimer were to be injured again and out long-term that Gustavsson and Scrivens are the backups, it could prompt Burke to look around for a backup. There might be one available in Florida with Scott Clemmensen returning to health considering the way their rookie Jacob Markstrom has played.

Either way, the Leafs will need Reimer healthy if they hope to end their six-year postseason drought.

Since getting the lion's share of the load near the tail end of the season, the Maple Leafs have noticed a difference. In the 43 games he has played in his career, he has compiled a 24-10-6 record with a .920 save percentage and 2.59 goals against average. Comparatively, Gustavsson has a 23-30-11 career record and one of the goalies before Reimer, Jean-Sebastien Giguere, was 17-18-6 in 48 games. Notice a difference?

It's clear what Reimer means to Toronto. It's easy to call him the missing piece to their puzzle, goaltending has been the achilles heel for years. So the fingers are crossed tightly that this will only be a game or two absence.

In the meantime, it only seems fitting this time of year for the Maple Leafs to turn the keys over to a guy nicknamed the Monster.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: October 25, 2011 1:58 pm
Edited on: October 25, 2011 2:13 pm
 

Panthers sticking with Theodore over Markstrom

By Brian Stubits

Before the season began, if there were talk about a goalie controversy in Florida, most would have assumed it would be over the ineptitude between Jose Theodore and Scott Clemmensen.

But a funny thing happened to start the season. Knee surgery forced Clemmensen to the injured list so the Panthers had to keep top goaltending prospect Jacob Markstrom with the NHL club instead of sending him back to the AHL for a little more seasoning. It was assumed when Theodore signed for two seasons, he'd be there to stem the tide until Markstrom is ready and pass the torch then.

Well "then" appears to be now to everybody watching the Cats. Everybody except for new head coach Kevin Dineen.

"Theo's our starter and a great player," Dineen told the Sun-Sentinel. "He's going to get back in there soon. Jacob not only earned that start but earned that victory."

In the meantime, however, Dineen hasn't said yet who will start Thursday in Ottawa, saying it is a "good decision to have.''

Markstrom rode the pine for the first four games of the season behind Theodore before Dineen gave the Panthers' first pick in the 2008 NHL Draft his first career start. His Panthers were thoroughly outplayed by the Capitals, but Markstrom was brilliant, keeping the Panthers within striking distance, allowing just two goals in a 3-0 loss (one empty-netter). He then relieved Theodore in the third period of a game against the Islanders when Theodore got a little dinged up and closed like Mariano Rivera, stonewalling all 18 of the Islanders' shots.

Then came Monday night in Montreal when Markstrom received his second career start. All he did there was stop 40 of the Canadiens' 41 shots, including some spectacular stops (see for yourself) on seemingly sure goals. The Panthers needed every one of those 40 saves, too, as they won just 2-1.

That brings his season total to 87 saves out of 90 shots. It also prompted one of the postgame quotes of the year from teammate Scottie Upshall.

"He’s like a Transformer," Upshall said. "We’re not sure if he’s human or if he’s part alien."

Theodore, meanwhile, hasn't been bad for the Panthers, but he hasn't been as good as Markstrom. Theodore's states on the season show a 2.62 goals against average and .913 save percentage as well as a shutout in his debut.

Thus, Dineen put the speculation to rest on who his No. 1 goalie is. But it doesn't answer the question of what happens to Markstrom when Clemmensen is healthy to return, which isn't far away? Do the Panthers carry three goalies a la the Isles with Evgeni Nabokov, Al Montoya and Rick DiPietro? Do they send Markstrom back to the AHL even though he's shown he's more than capable of playing at the highest level?

At this point, the AHL doesn’t seem to be in play, no? How do you justify sending down somebody playing so well? Instead, you could see Clemmensen become expendable, although it’s unlikely there would be much of a market for him.

File this in the good-problems-to-have folder.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: September 26, 2011 3:34 pm
 

Panthers G Clemmensen to miss start of season

By Brian Stubits

After losing Tomas Vokoun in the offseason in free agency, the Florida Panthers planned to enter this season relying on a duo in net of Jose Theodore and Scott Clemmensen. But the plan is already falling apart.

That's because Clemmensen is going to miss the start of the season after undergoing a minor surgery on Monday on his knee. Coach Kevin Dineen was sure to stress that it was a minor procedure and it could sideline Clemmensen for "up to a month" but that the surgery shouldn't derail his season as Dineen is "very encouraged that [Clemmensen] is going to come back 100 percent healthy.

"We think very highly of all the goaltenders in our organization and that's why losing Clemmer is a tough deal for us," Dineen added. "He's worked hard all summer and I know he's disappointed right now, but I know that the month of October will slide right by and he'll be back before we know it."

While it doesn't figure to sideline him for too long, it does put a lot more of the burden on Theodore. And one of the Panthers' young netminding prospects.

The Panthers have arguably the top goaltending prospect in the NHL in Jacob Markstrom. He would seem to be the likely choice to remain with the team in Clemmensen's absence, but the Tyler Plante could earn the right to stay seeing as how the Panthers would like Markstrom to play a lot this season. In the AHL he will be able to do that, in the NHL he won't.

But the two will presumably have the remainder of camp to fight for the backup spot to start the season.

"I look at it as Mr. Opportunity is knocking on the door," Dineen said. "That opportunity will be given to [Tyler Plante] and [Jacob Markstrom] to scratch and claw and try to earn that right to stay here with the Panthers for the next stretch."

"Every day you're here is another special day," Plante said. "You work hard all summer to stay here as long as you possibly can. So, every day you're not getting a plane ticket down [to the AHL] is a day with a smile on your face."

One of them, likely Plante, will get to keep that smile on for a lot longer.

Clemmensen hasn't played too much in the past two seasons backing up Vokoun for the Panthers. What name recognition he does have came from his time as a fill-in for Martin Broudeur in 2008-09 when he was 25-13-1 with a .917 save percentage and 2.39 GAA. Last season for Florida he was 8-11-7 with .911/2.62 numbers.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: September 23, 2011 1:41 pm
Edited on: September 26, 2011 2:09 pm
 

Southeast Division preview: Still chasing Caps

By Brian Stubits

The days of the South-least Division are slowly fading away.

For the last half decade, the Southeast Division has been the Washington Capitals' playground with four teams chasing. Of course the Caps have been very good through that time, but fattening up on their division "rivals" undoubtedly helped them to four straight division championships.

Just take the 2009-10 season as an example. That year the Capitals had 18 more points than the next closest team in the East while no other team in the division finished even in the top nine of the conference standings. That's especially amazing when you consider there are only 15 teams in the East.

They stil finished atop the East despite a transformation. Head coach Bruce Boudreau changed the way the team plays, trying to lock down on defense. As a result, the league's highest-scoring team the past few years dipped all the way to 19th in scoring. Alex Ovechkin had a very good season by almost anybody's standards. Just not his own.

The trick for Boudreau is to find that happy medium. They showed defense is something they can and in the past they showed they can score. Now they need to show they can do both. If they don't, especially early, Boudreau will hear the calls for his firing. The most successful regular-season team hasn't done enough after it to satisfy the increasingly antsy and demanding fan base.

But the somewhat surprising emergence of the Lightning last year has beefed up the division's rep. Tampa Bay figured to be on its way back up the NHL ladder, but the boom that came out of last season seemed to be ahead of schedule. Now the division has two of the game's elite scorers in Steven Stamkos and Ovechkin. With the Bolts unceremoniously sweeping the Caps in the playoffs last year, we just might have the beginning of an actual division rival for Washington.

The division also features something new: the most amped up fan base in the league, at least for one season. The Winnipeg Jets are still stuck playing in a division that will have them being true fish out of water. To say the Jets will suffer from jet-lag isn't just a fun pun but a reality they face. With that said, what was one of the easiest road trips in the NHL just became one of the toughest, especially for the teams in the Southeast that should look into taking the Concord to Manitoba.

Southeast Division (in order of predicted finish)

Washington Capitals: The Caps have become one of the league's elite teams and have done a pretty remarkable job of keeping their core together. Well this offseason owner Ted Leonsis and crew decided it was time to shake up the roster a touch to try and find the missing recipe to move Washington deeper into the playoffs. Enter Joel Ward, Troy Brouwer and Tomas Vokoun among others. I don't think there was a bigger offseason addition in this division than the Caps getting Vokoun, especially when you factor in the salary he'll be getting. Vokoun's talents have been hidden in Florida in the past four seasons, but he's an excellent goaltender but he is (or at least was) prone to prolonged slumps. As for Ward and Brouwer, they considerably beef up the Caps' toughness up front along the boards who are very capable two-way players.

Strengths: They have shown they can do every facet of the game well. It is a challenge to find a more talented team in hockey, including on the blue line. That's not something you could say in the past, but John Carlson and Karl Alzner complement each other well enough to make one of the best young defenseman duos in the NHL.

Weaknesses: It is tough to pinpoint any with this team, it is very well-rounded. It will be interesting to see how they handle expectations and increased heat when they hit some rough patches. Also, from an organizational standpoint the team has very little room to maneuver under the salary cap. That could be worth monitoring if/when GM George McPhee decided to tweak the roster.

Tampa Bay Lightning: Everything came together for a great run to a seven-game series in the Eastern Conference finals last season under new coach Guy Boucher. He brought in the ol' 1-3-1 system that seemed to be a magic trick for the Bolts. Now the question becomes can they repeat or was last year lightning in a bottle (that pun really was not intended)? One thing strongly in their favor is that the return almost the entire roster intact from last season. They did lose a couple of players such as Simon Gagne, but not much in the way of being unable to repair. one player who is back is Eric Brewer, and he'll be better for having spent camp and beginning the season in Tampa Bay. It will be interesting to see how this team fares with expectations on their shoulders.

Strengths: They roll out two excellent lines at the top. The Ryan Malone-Stamkos-Martin St. Louis line is one of the best in the game and the second group of Nate Thompson-Vincent Lecavalier-Teddy Purcell isn't too shabby, especially if Purcell continues his growth. They also had excellent special teams last year, ranking in the top 8 of both power play (it helps to have Stamkos, who scores 17 on the PP last year) and penalty kill a season ago. I also love the man on their bench as Boucher is a star in the making among coaches.

Weaknesses: I am still not in love with the goaltending situation. Dwayne Roloson was very good after being picked up by GM Steve Yzerman (he would qualify as another strength), but he just doesn't inspire a lot of confidence in me to keep it up. The addition of Mathieu Garon to back him up is a good one, though. Moreover, consistency might be an issue, especially for Stamkos. He really slowed down last season, failing to score 50 goals when he appeared to be on his way to 60 midseason.

Carolina Hurricanes: If the playoffs were a night club, the Hurricanes have been the guy standing at the front of the line until the bouncer says they're full. Every year it seems they are squarely on the playoff bubble, including last season when it came down to Game 82, which was a sound defeat. This season figures to be more of the same for the 'Canes as they might just be the next-best thing to a playoff team the East has to offer. They had a very pleasant surprise in Calder Trophy winner Jeff Skinner last season and captain Eric Staal is still leading the show. Gone, though, is another Carolina long-timer in Erik Cole (now in Montreal). One thing you have to love about this franchise, though, is its consistency. GM Jim Rutherford has been there ever since they became the Hurricanes (and before). It seems like their best players don't leave the organization, either. Hopefully for them the consistency in their finishes doesn't stay the same, but instead they crack the postseason. But in a beefed up East, that will be tougher said than done.

Strengths: They have an excellent captain in Staal, both from a leadership standpoint and player quality. They also boast one of the better goalies in the league in Cam Ward, an All-Star last season. And there's that whole consitency thing they have going on, often helps in the old chemistry department.

Weaknesses: There is not much depth to talk about in Carolina. After Stall, Skinner, Jussi Jokinen and Tuomo Ruutu, they aren't likely going to find a whole lot of scoring. They also don't posses a ton of size among the forwards, hence the reason they brought in Anthony Stewert and Alex Ponikarovsky this offseason to help. There just doesn't seem to be enough to crack the postseason, but Rutherford admits to this being somewhat of a "rebuilding" phase. That's a pretty competitive team for one that's rebuilding.

Florida Panthers: The Panthers were incredibly active in the free-agent market in July, adding a slew of veterans to hold the tide while the youngsters develop. Undoubtedly the Panthers are better than they were last season, but how much better? They did lose arguably their best player in Vokoun and are replacing him with the combination of Jose Theodore and Scott Clemmensen, not exactly an exciting development. But it can't be denied that the Panthers now at least have NHL-quality players across their lines (and defensive pairings, led by Brian Campbell and Ed Jovanovski), but they still aren't high-quality players, not guys that you figure can get them into the playoffs, finally. The trick in Florida is not doing anything now to hinder the future, which is very bright as the system is loaded.

Strengths: I do like the defensive corps they are putting together, especially if 2010 No. 3 overall draft pick Erik Gudbranson makes the team as expected. It's very hard to say at this point with so many new faces coming together what kind of strenghts we're looking at, it's tough to predict how they will play together. But we do know something that isn't likely be a strength this year ...

Weaknesses: The aforementioned goaltender position. With Vokoun gone, the Panthers are relying on the combination of Jose Theodore and Scott Clemmensen. Now, both do have experience, Theodore more so than the Clemmer, but in no way do they make up for what Vokoun, Florida's best player in recent seasons, took with him. You also have to wonder about chemistry issues with this team having brought in so many new faces. We'll put new coach Kevin Dineen as an "unknown."

Winnipeg Jets: The virtue of such a home-ice advantage will likely make the Jets a little better than the Thrashers were last season, but not enough. Thankfully for them the new home crowd in Winnipeg will just be jacked to have hockey back. They will need to take advantage of the home crowd, especially with a stretch of 10 home games in 11 contests that stretches from the end of November through December. But they will need to find scoring punch, especially from the forward group. They have excellent point producers among the defensemen in Dustin Byfuglien and Tobias Enstrom, but Ladd needs more help. Hopefully, that's where Evander Kane will fit in. In his third year since being drafted in the first round (all of his time spent at the NHL level) this could be the year he steps up his game and becomes a franchise fixture. He is already a popular figure partly by virtue of his Twitter account and the way he has taken to Winnipeg.

Strengths: They were above average on the power play last season, finishing 12th in the league thanks to Byfuglien and Enstrom. Thrown in the potential of Zach Bogosian as an offensive weapon and that's a lunch of firepower coming back the blue line. I like Ondrej Pavelec in net if he can get a little better support from his teammates. I will put one more in this category, and that's the patience of the front office. They have a lot of first-round talent on the roster and they don't seem willing to abandon the long-term plan for a quick fix to appease the riled up fans.

Weaknesses: The forwards need to show more. Outside of Ladd, nobody up front cracked the 20-goal barrier last season in Atlanta. They need to find a way to tighten down defensively after giving up the second-most goals per game in hockey last year at 3.20. The forwards doing a better job of creating scoring chances and possessing the puck will certainly contribute. The penalty kill was almost equally bad last year, clocking in at 27th in the NHL. Like the Panthers, we'll put new coach Claude Noel as an "unknown."

NHL season preview schedule
Wed., Sept. 21: Step-back players Tues., Sept. 27: Atlantic Division
Thur., Sept. 22: Breakout players Wed., Sept. 28: Central Division
Fri., Sept. 23: Southeast Division Thur. Sept. 29: Northeast Division
Mon., Sept. 26: Pacific Division Fri., Sept. 30: Northwest Division

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.



 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com