Breaking Down The Reimer Drama

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
March 18 2014 10:23PM

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The Toronto Maple Leafs just lost to the Detroit Red Wings in a game where James Reimer saved three pucks, but allowed three to go past him. Two quotes and two tweets later, and everybody is in a state of mini-panic. Let's break some statements down.

randyonjames

First off, if you don't follow Chris Johnston, you probably should. He's always good for quotes and brings some stellar insight from time to time. Moving on.

I feel like this was an incredibly unfair statement on Randy Carlyle's part. First and foremost, the only way that James Reimer is "Just OK" is if you judge by his save percentage on the night (0.909), which is ever so slightly below league average. But we all know that the Leafs are #TeamWatchTheGames and anti-Calculator, so lets step back for a second and watch the goals.

nyquistgoal1

Nyquist has a clear cut breakaway and is basically able to do whatever he wants. This is a high percentage shot. Reimer still gets a piece of it, but it trickles in.

nyquistgoal2

Nyquist again has several seconds, unobstructed, to decide what he's going to do with the puck. In the end, he gets to take a snapshot, on his own, from the hashmarks. This is a high percentage shot. But Reimer plays the angle well, so the only way this puck is going in is if he catches the edge of the post.

nyquistgoal3

Welp.

alfiegoal

Legwand and Alfredsson have a two on one. With Cody Franson blocking the pass, Reimer doesn't full commit to the shot, but leans in that direction to be safe. Cody Franson, however, was not capable of actually blocking the pass and let it go under his stick. James van Riemsdyk was still far behind at first, giving Daniel Afredsson an unguarded snapshot at hashmark distance, but near centre. This is a, wait for it, high percentage shot. Reimer gets over to match it, but doesn't have enough time to stop it and it beats him to put the Wings up 3-1.

Basically, all three goals involve the Leafs putting Reimer in situations where he's not likely to have success in. All three goals have multiple players you can blame for causing that. Reimer was equal to the task in several other important occasions tonight, and despite these goals where he was hung out to dry, still put up a decent performance mathematically.

How did he feel about his game?

jamesonrandy

This is, coincidentally, the meanest thing that James Reimer has ever done, and by that I mean correctly defend himself. This was a solid game on his part, and not the only time that he's had a good night out on the town and the team has failed him. 

The Leafs are 11-5-1 this year when Reimer has a even save percentage above 0.910, but three of those came in a shootout, and their goal differential in those games is just +3. On nights where his numbers are below that, he only has 1 win in 11, and the fact that the Leafs only average 2.27 goals for in those games doesn't help that.

But looking at tonight; there's no need to throw him under the bus. Even if you want to say that those three goals were bad ones to give up, and they weren't, he's still someone you want to keep in high morale. Goaltending is the most important position on a team that bleeds shots, and with Jonathan Bernier out, Reimer has to play well, and often in the meantime. 

If we want to go by actual performance tonight, it would've been best to point fingers at the defencemen who weren't there to help Reimer out, who completely flew under the radar in Randy's comments. You know who else realizes it's the defence to blame? Reimer's agent.

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Oh boy, has this team played poorly defensively. Tonight was a game of obvious mistakes, but this season has been one of patterns. The Leafs are the second worst possession team in the NHL, and at 36.3 a game, are on pace to give up the third most shots in recorded NHL history, trailing teams who had just 11 and 27 respective wins in 84 game seasons. When you're on the verge of making the playoffs anyway, goaltending should be the last position anybody points fingers at. Full credit to Mr. Petkau for standing up for his client. Well, sorta.

agent2

agent3

Whether he's being truthful or not is an argument we could have until the cows come home, but even if he had seen the recap, recanting now makes sense. 

This wouldn't be the first time a Leafs player's agent has spoken out in defence of their client. Last year, Ben Hakinson brought out #FreeJakeGardiner, causing much hype and many spinoffs (I'm Senior VP of #FreeCarterAshton at the moment). It came in the midst of a Leafs losing streak and with Gardiner finally catching up after struggling with post-concussion issues on the Marlies.

The tweet, while funny, didn't influence a call up. It will likely lead to some (minor) friction in negotiation when Gardiner becomes a restricted free agent in the summer, and Petkau probably realizes he doesn't need the same thing happening Reimer. Being correct on the internet doesn't matter when there are millions of dollars at stake.

In Summation

James Reimer played well. Randy Carlyle is blaming the wrong people. Reimer's agent is right, but for the sake of his client, was wise to take back his words swiftly. But at least we got to see this all unfold and grab popcorn which we may or may not have consumed.

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I bring news about the Toronto Marlies, opinions about the Toronto Maple Leafs, and a bunch of ridiculous thoughts about everything else.
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#1 leaferfan
March 18 2014, 10:56PM
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Exactly, I mean when people ask me how the weather is like outside and I say "ok" instead of saying "good" they should really read into "ok" that it is thundering, snowing apacolypse and the end of the world is near.

Also "ok" clearly means Carlyle is blaming Reimer for the loss even when he gives lamer excuses for the loss about the schedule, the poor play of the team (not mentioning Reimer) and the bad reffing. Carlyle said it best - he says what he says and people write what they want to write.

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#3 leaferfan
March 18 2014, 11:14PM
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@Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)

Though Carlyle never mentioned Reimer or blamed him for the loss at all and talked about the team's play until a reporter asked specifically about Reimer.

Carlyle wasn't going out of his way to throw Reimer under the bus. [Also I won't buy into the "ok" code without better context].

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#4 STAN
March 19 2014, 12:35AM
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Double-standards from Carlyle and Nonis. I can't recall Carlyle saying anything negative about Bernier's performances, even though the obvious Nonis Golden Boy has allowed some very weak goals. Nonis went out and got a guy he liked and he's Carlyle's boss.

Reimer needs a fresh start next season. I love the guy, but he's getting no love from Leafs brass and his teammates seem to leave him out to dry more often than not.

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#5 Rottentomaoes
March 19 2014, 01:02AM
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Oh boy, only in Toronto is calling a player "OK" a tragedy. What happened to the goalies in Vancouver again?

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#6 whichonespink
March 19 2014, 01:03AM
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Bernier was letting in 3 goals a night during the streak, but the team scored 4 a night, so no one said boo. Most nights the Leafs goalies are hung out to dry and it is there fault that we are anywhere near a play off spot.

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#7 Cam Charron
March 19 2014, 04:39AM
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Rottentomaoes wrote:

Oh boy, only in Toronto is calling a player "OK" a tragedy. What happened to the goalies in Vancouver again?

At this rate the next Canucks goalie could very well be James Reimer.

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#8 Swimmer
March 19 2014, 10:06AM
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While reimer was better than "ok" last night, he has a tendency to go swimming in the blue paint. maybe he thinks it's water?

either way, the majority of plays in the defensive end are due to the fact that he

a) can't catch the puck b) isn't very technical

resulting in flailing erratically on the ice and leading to goals against (like the 2nd washington goal last sunday - he's laying on the ice and the puck is chipped over his leg and pad).

It's game over for reimer in toronto, the team is shaky in front of him because the goalie himself is shaky. the team tries too hard not to make mistakes and end up making them anyways.

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#9 Reimerfan
March 19 2014, 10:17AM
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STAN wrote:

Double-standards from Carlyle and Nonis. I can't recall Carlyle saying anything negative about Bernier's performances, even though the obvious Nonis Golden Boy has allowed some very weak goals. Nonis went out and got a guy he liked and he's Carlyle's boss.

Reimer needs a fresh start next season. I love the guy, but he's getting no love from Leafs brass and his teammates seem to leave him out to dry more often than not.

TAHNKS JEFFLLER great Reimer save/support.....

Thats's because the team want's Reimer gone and still blame him for last year....I have seen enough Reimer bashing this season to last a lifetime, I too give credit to Gleason becauae he doesn't let anyone push a fellow teamate around no matter what this is not good...to have this much distaste for your Goalie is really sad.... The team needs look into the mirror and see what's looking back at them because it's not star quality it's not I am going to go out with my TEAM and play and compete and rally behind my Goalie no matter what and than maybe just mnybe the Leafs could finally become a star quality team instead of THE LAUGHING STOCK OF THE NHL... When you have a team like Boston on a 10 game win, this team doesn't stand a chance way it is right now not matter if they get to the playoffs......they will be creamed....

THANKS GLEASON for being having sportsmanship to stand uo for your Goakie...

I honestly think everyone has been paid off to take Reimer out one way or the other.....never seen so many hits on him even by his own team as hes taek this year....

ENOUGH ALREADY....

I said they would screw him again and hang him out to dry......I listened to Dion go on about playing better for Reims and being a stonger team for him, we have confidence in Reims, on and on and on....yet every game is the same thing.....it's like their playing hookey noy hockey and leaving Reimer to do it all..

LAST I CHECKED HOCKEY WAS AND IS A TEAM SPORT AND EVEN THAT ONE MESSAGE ARE ON THE WEBSITE STATING REIMER COSTS US 1 POINT AGASINT CAPITALS.....DIDN'T REALIZE REIMER WAS ON THE ICE BY HIMSELF...SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE TEAM LOST THE 1 POINT NOT JUST ONE PERSON, THESE GUYS ARE FALLING APART..I RECALL REIMER TAKING BLAME IN THE LOST NOT BLAMING AND MAKING EXCUSES, BUT THE REST GUYS NOT SO MUCH.....He's to nice for his oen good he stands with a team and battles for this team, but gets crapped on.....

SO SAD...MAYBE REIMER SHOULD BE ON THE ICE HIMSELF...THAN MAYBE HE WILL WIN, OH THATS RIGHT IT'S A TEAM SPORT

sad sad sad sad......

I AGREE I HATE SEEING A GUY WITH SUCH A PASSION FOR THIS SPORT AND EVEN FOR HIS TEAM be thrown to wolfs everytime he's in net, he could stand on his head night after night and he would still never be giving the credit and respect he deserves.....

I only wish just once he would take off the nice guy suit and come out swinging, finally realize that he doesn't have to be anyones mat anymore and say and do what needs tb done and come out swinging, take a penality, push back don't tahe crap was your team anymore or RC or Nonis...so what they trade him....it will be for the better and in the end, he can come back better than ever and swipe this team and Berniers stuipid grins and remarks off their face.....know fact when team players get traded off this team they do better and seem to be able to be themselves and have a better career from this organization.......

Berbier can do no wrong on this team,,,you see it mnany times both with the team RC and Nonis,,,,I said along that Reimer was screwes once Bernier cam over.......well he's welcomed to the team...

Wait for tonight....it will be another exciting game yes???? IF THEY LOOSE ANOTHER NIGHT OF BLAMING AND EXCUSES.....

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#10 Brandon
March 19 2014, 11:23AM
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STAN wrote:

Double-standards from Carlyle and Nonis. I can't recall Carlyle saying anything negative about Bernier's performances, even though the obvious Nonis Golden Boy has allowed some very weak goals. Nonis went out and got a guy he liked and he's Carlyle's boss.

Reimer needs a fresh start next season. I love the guy, but he's getting no love from Leafs brass and his teammates seem to leave him out to dry more often than not.

Right, they really haven't. While I remember Carlyle talking about the team in general (ie "The whole team didn't play good tonight) he NEVER singled out Bernier during any of the interviews throughout the season especially after poor performances by Jonathan. This is a league wide thing. Coaches always say these things. It's to be diplomatic. Coaches should really care about how their goaltender feels because it effects their performance.

Carlyle's comment was probably said with some emotion being that Reimer let in that last goal late in the 3rd. It was probably still in his mind. He probably wasn't happy. But he very well could have handled the questions WAY better by being a little more diplomatic. Or if you want to criticize him, talk about the whole team instead of singling him out. Which would have been closer to the truth because the defence did indeed hand Reimer out to dry.

You ask really and reporter who goes to these post game scrums and ask how often coaches single out their goaltender. Most guys would probably agree 90% of the time they DON'T. That's why this is so concerning. It's because if you're a coach you don't answer questions just the way Carlyle answered them.

/rant end

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#11 John Lofranco
March 19 2014, 01:29PM
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To be fair, if ypu watch the Reimer interview, HIS quote comes off much less snarky in person than in print. He didn't seem miffed to me.

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#12 Reimerfan
March 19 2014, 02:25PM
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John Lofranco wrote:

To be fair, if ypu watch the Reimer interview, HIS quote comes off much less snarky in person than in print. He didn't seem miffed to me.

because hes to nice to say it in a more nastier way.....

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#13 Back in Black
March 19 2014, 05:05PM
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@Swimmer

Why, then, is the team also shaky in front of Bernier?

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