Tag:James Reimer
Posted on: March 23, 2011 1:36 am
Edited on: March 23, 2011 1:54 am
 

Morning Skate: Rookie Reimer keeps Leafs going



Toronto Maples Leafs rookie goalie James Reimer must be doing something right if he's getting compared to a Transformer.

A couple “Optimus Reim” posters were spotted Xcel Energy Center Tuesday night where Reimer turned in a 29-save performance in a 3-0 Leafs victory over the Minnesota Wild, the Toronto Star reports.

The 23-year-old from Arborg, Manitoba, is the chief reason Toronto still has a shot at its first postseason berth since before the lockout. He had fair amount of admirers as friends and family members made the 540-mile trek from his hometown.

“You always want to win and always want to put on a good show for family, especially when they drive a long way,” Reimer told the newspaper. “They’re the ones who put in the time and effort into my life and into my hockey career.”
Line Changes

Reimer is 11-3-4 over his last 18 decisions and his three shutouts have come since Feb. 3. Not bad for a guy who was sent down to the AHL three times this season.

The Leafs finished the night in 10th place in the East, five points behind the eighth-place Buffalo Sabres. The Leafs have eight games remaining and it’s a safe bet Reimer will get a chance to start in each of those -- especially when you factor in the outrage when coach Ron Wilson started J.S. Giguere in a loss to Florida last Thursday.

Beyond the playoff push, Reimer has also emerged as a candidate for the Calder Trophy. The discussion for the league's top rookie has been dominated by Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner, San Jose Sharks forward Logan Couture, New York Islanders forward Michael Grabner and Sabres forward Tyler Ennis.

Unlike those skaters who are on lines with talented teammates, Reimer is often on his own --- like when he turned away two shorthanded breakaway chances on Tuesday. But what'll hurt his Calder hopes is his short resume.

He'll play at most 37 games, fewer than Chicago's Corey Crawford, Philly's Sergei Bobrovsky and Washington's Michal Neuvirth --- all rookie goalies with solid stats on playoff-bound teams.

But if he gets the Leafs into the playoffs, that'll cover up his short job history and transfrorm him into Calder contender. 

COOKE AFTERMATH: It appears New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh feels for Pittsburgh Penguins forward Matt Cooke, who was suspended Monday for the rest of the regular season and the first round of the playoffs for an elbow he delivered last weekend to McDonagh’s head. 

He spoke with Rangers broadcast outlet MSG before Tuesday’s game (Here’s the quote transcribed by TSN.ca): 

“You're trying to get good momentum going into the playoffs or keep your playoff spot and that was a close game at the time and momentum could go the other way. I think he's trying to make a big hit and he just caught me wrong. I don't think it was his intent.

"The suspension … it is what it is. The league is really pushing to get these hits out of the game. If that's a statement, it's a pretty big statement, for sure."


Earlier in the day, Pittsburgh's two newspapers (The Post-Gazette and Tribune-Review) reported Cooke expressed regret for the collision: 

"I realize and understand, more so now than ever, that I need to change," Mr. Cooke said. "That's what I wanted my message to be."

"I'm fortunate that Ryan McDonagh wasn't hurt," he said. "I don't want to hurt anybody. That's not my intention. I know that I can be better. ... I made a mistake, and I'm the one who's accountable for that. And I take full responsibility for it."


WEST END: Four points separate the fourth-place Phoenix Coyotes and 10th-place Calgary Flames entering play Wednesday. At the same point last season, that margin between the same two places in the Western Conference was 19 points.


TUESDAY'S RESULTS
NY Rangers 1, Florida 0
Boston 4, New Jersey 1
Carolina 4, Ottawa 3
Washington 5, Philadelphia 4 (SO)
Buffalo 2, Montreal 0
NY Islanders 5, Tampa Bay 2
Nashville 3, Edmonton 1
Toronto 3, Minnesota 0
Colorado 5, Columbus 4 (SO)
Phoenix 2, St. Louis 1

-- A.J. Perez

Photo: Getty Images
Posted on: March 12, 2011 4:03 pm
Edited on: March 12, 2011 4:12 pm
 

Playoff Watch: Leafs need to make a point (or 2)


Buffalo Sabres (33-26-8) at Toronto Maples Leafs (29-29-10) 


Air Canada Centre, 7 p.m. ET (NHL Network)
SERIES: Buffalo 3-1-0; Toronto 1-2-1

IMPLICATIONS: Buffalo, tied with the New York Rangers points-wise, can get a little breathing room in seventh with a victory. (The Rangers play San Jose tonight.) A victory in this division rivalry would be huge for the Leafs -- especially if it comes in regulation. Depending how things shake out, Toronto could finish the night two points out of eighth. 

BREAKDOWN: This is one three games that will change how the the bottom of the East looks heading into daylight savings time. 

The Leafs, 10-4-5 since the All-Star break, aren't in must-win territory, but they can't lose many of these tilts against teams in front of them in the standings. (They are already winless in their last three outings.) Much the the Leafs' recent success can directly be attributed to goalie James Reimer (above). He's been assigned to the  Toronto's AHL club on three occasions this season, but it's safe to say there won't be a fourth trip down to the Marlies. He enters 12-6-4 and one of his rare down games this rookie season came against Buffalo as he gave up five goals on 30 shots on Feb. 5.  He got the win the last time these two teams met (Feb. 19) in relief of Jean-Sebastien Giguere

This game will be the final game on the road on this current seven-game, 12-day trip for Buffalo. The Sabres are 4-1-1 so far and are coming off a 4-3 OT victory over Boston on Thursday. 

MATCHUP TO WATCH:  Buffalo F Thomas Vanek vs. Toronto F Phil Kessel. Vanek, who missed a game earlier this week with the flu, returned and had a goal and an assist against Boston. He leads the Sabres with 57 points (24 goals, 33 assists). Kessel, who has only one point over the last four games, leads all current Toronto players in goals (10) and points (14) in 30 games lifetime against Buffalo. 

KEY STAT: 4-10-4. The Leafs' record in Saturday games. 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com