With his team currently marred in a four game losing streak and his personal success in the proverbial toilet, fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs are starting to come to terms with the fact that hoisting any sort of trophy is out of the question for quite some time.
Well, Leaf fans, we cannot put all the blame on James Reimer, but he certainly needs to share the load of “poop” that is being hurled at the team right now.
Phil Kessel’s frustration last night said it all— he, like millions of fans, is just plain fed up with the countless mistakes (of which Kessel is guilty too) that happen night-in, night-out.
Basic plays, seemingly simple for midget players to execute are being misplayed. Giveaways continue to be a major issue. Defensive coverage is little more than a rumor and giving up 35+ shots a night is now the norm rather than the exception.
While every player on the Maple Leafs roster has a measure of blame on their shoulders for Toronto’s recent slide in the standings, the growing belief is that Reimer is the weakest link in the chain.
So, are the fans of the Blue and White correct, or are they simply unfairly spewing their venom on Reimer?
Let’s take a look at some of the numbers…
Originally drafted in the fourth round (99th overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs, goaltender James Reimer was never expected to be an elite goaltender. What the Maple Leafs had hoped they had drafted was a capable netminder, who, if all went well, could be counted on to assume the back up role in Toronto. After a brief stint with the Toronto Marlies during the 2008-09 season in which he played in three games, recording a 1-2 record, Reimer continued honing his trade in the East Coast Hockey League with the Reading Royals and South Carolina Stingrays in 2008-09. Reimer would follow up a relatively good season in the ECHL with a chance to be the number one goalie with the Marlies in 2009-10. Reimer would accumulate a 18-8-0-2 record with the Marlies that season,
At 6’5” and 213 pounds, Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Cody Franson ( who may never grow a playoff beard )has the size to be an intimidating NHL defenseman. Blessed with a heavy shot, Franson has the ability to run the power play and has reasonable puck moving skills. With Franson bringing size, puck moving skills and a heavy shot, there would seem to be room for him on the Maple Leafs’ blueline. That said, Franson’s sluggish skating, inconsistent defensive coverage and penchant for not using his size to his full advantage, may be enough for the Maple Leafs to overlook the pending RFA this summer. Through 65 games with the Maple Leafs, Franson has accumulated a total of four goals (one power play marker) and 28 points. Offensively, Franson is better than the average NHL defenseman, but hardly a game
Just a few days away from the NHL Trade Deadline, it is painfully obvious that Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis has some tough decisions to make. While Nonis’ team looks to be on-pace to make the playoffs, the Maple Leafs have a ton of question marks heading into the big dance. The Maple Leafs biggest concern continues to be their inadequate defense which continually gives up far too many shots, rarely exhibits good on-ice decisions and fails to clear the net play after play. To put it mildly, the Maple Leafs defense resembles a brick of Swiss Cheese on more nights than not, culminating in a league-worst 36.1 shots against per game, the 26th ranked goals against per game (3.01) and the 28th ranked penalty kill (77.5 percent success rate). While the defensemen should not be shackled with
After an incredible victory by Team Canada over Sweden at the Olympics, the NHL regular season is just a few hours away from commencing when the Buffalo Sabres and Carolina Hurricanes drop the puck Tuesday evening. While every hockey fan enjoyed the Olympics, NHL fans from coast-to-coast are chomping at the bit to get back to their favorite teams. A quick look at the NHL standings reveals some excellent playoff races. A total of three points separates the eighth place Detroit Red Wings and the 13th placed New Jersey Devils in the Eastern Conference, while a measly four points separates the eighth place Dallas Stars from the 12th placed Nashville Predators in the Western Conference. To say the playoff race is tight would be an understatement. Historically, when the playoff races are this tight many NHL teams hold off on
With his club currently enjoying it’s first five-game winning streak in seven years, Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis can be forgiven if he has a smile on his face. Toronto’s recent good fortunes catapulted the Maple Leafs into sixth place in the Eastern Conference Standings, albeit under the cloud of playing 51 games, while most of the East sits at 49 games played. With the New York Rangers (7-2-1 in their past ten games), Columbus Blue Jackets (7-3-0 in their past ten games) and the Ottawa Senators (6-2-2 in their past ten games) all surging, Toronto must maintain their current pace or better, which saw them go 6-4-0 in their past ten games. The Detroit Red Wings (4-5-1) and Washington Capitals (2-5-3) are running cold of late. Both teams sit five points behind the Maple Leafs, both teams