December 22 2013 01:24AM
It's been a wild week for James Reimer. First, he called out his team after their performance against Florida, re-iterating that there is no room for excuses. The money line was right at the end of his rant: "All you can focus on is what you yourself can do to get prepared and then be your best, and trust that your teammate across from you is doing the same thing"
Reimer came out and had a great game a couple of days later against Phoenix. His start was an odd one, since typically coach Randy Carlyle has switched goalies after losses. It came out after the game that Jonathan Bernier had been nursing an injury, and Carlyle had let the injury dictate his choice on the goaltender ahead of one of Reimer's better starts of the season.
That's not a reason for #TeamReimer to complain, but you could argue that Carlyle prematurely pulled Reimer against Detroit after a brutal first period from the Maple Leafs that saw the team down 3-1 after the first. Glenn Healy was talking up the look that Reimer and Carlyle shared at the start of the second period, pictured above. Is this… a controversy?
December 21 2013 08:55PM
By listening to Glenn Healy all game, I learned a whole lot about how goaltending works. If your team goes down early thanks to some lousy defensive structures, it's okay to blame the goalie and pull him, because that will spark the team!
All throughout the Hockey Night broadcast of the Toronto and Detroit game, viewers were hit over the head with this bizarre narrative that Randy Carlyle pulling James Reimer after the first period "sparked" the Leafs to a degree. Anybody with a basic understanding of hockey analytics have heard about score effects: a team that is trailing is more likely to generate more shots on net, so despite going into the first break down 3-1, the Leafs weren't out of it, especially against a shallow Detroit team down to its third goalie and dressing three real NHL defencemen.
Toronto came back to make it 4-3, but then gave up the tying goal, generated the better chances in overtime (as they often do when they're allowed to use their speed) but it was all for naught. Daniel Alfredsson and Pavel Datsyuk scored the goals in the shootout and the Red Wings came away with a 5-4 victory.
December 21 2013 01:16PM
It's fitting that the next time these two teams play will be outside in the freezing Michigan cold, because these two teams are icy right now, in that over the last month or so, have probably been the two most disappointing teams in the league.
The Red Wings have gone 3-5-2 since the start of December, and the Leafs are at 4-6-0 in the month, after entering it already on a 4-game losing streak. Now, you know that previous games results don't carry over to the next game, and I know that previous games results don't carry over to the next game, but casual fans don't like to hear that, and advertisers don't like to hear that either.
Officially, however, this is just another hockey game, played between the 4th and 5th placed teams in the Eastern Conference division that will send five teams to the playoffs in all likelihood. It's an Original Six clash! Former Norris Division, and Central Division foes! Two teams that used to be in the friggin' Western Conference. The last time these two teams played as divisional opponents was March 18, 1998. Norm Maracle stopped 20 of 22 shots and Kris Draper scored twice in a 5-2 win for Detroit.
December 20 2013 01:49PM
James Reimer good. Mike Smith cheater cheater pumpkin eater. True story.
December 19 2013 11:52PM
On this episode, the guys talk about Mike Smith's antics, the state of hockey blogging, and the Milan Lucic saga.