Leafs Postgame: Reimer Stands Tall, Team Still Loses

When you think about it, the Boston Bruins are a huge part of the reason that the Leafs are where they are today. If a certain game doesn’t go down the way that it did, you likely don’t see Leafs management go on a mental pilgrimage to find “character” and whatever other things they thought would make them better in the summer of 2013. Wouldn’t it be great if the Leafs held on? Hell, it may even have been better if the Bruins got their crap together sooner and won in five games. But here we are, hoping that they, as they usually do, beat the Leafs.

Tonight, they, as they usually do, beat the Leafs, though they certainly took their time to make it happen.

The Rundown

The first noteworthy moment in this game wasn’t a goal, but rather, a scary incident. Trevor Smith took a hit from Zdeno Chara, and on his way down, went face first into the ice. Seeming a little out of it and very bloody, Smith headed to the dressing room, while the two teams got back to work. The Bruins kept firing, and the Leafs kept chasing, but after twenty minutes, the game remained scoreless.

In the second, however, we saw some action. Predictably, the Bruins were the first to strike. Less than twenty seconds in, Patrice Bergeron picked up his own rebound and roofed the puck above a sprawling James Reimer to give his team the lead. Late in the frame, however, a shot by Morgan Rielly made all the right bounces, including off of Adam McQuaid’s stick and Tuukka Rask’s back en route to the back of the Boston net, tying the game.

The Bruins continued to pour it on in the third period, and if we can be honest, made the Leafs look like they were in a league below. At the same time, though, they weren’t able to beat James Reimer, and this eventually meant that the game would be solved in overtime. Five minutes of continued hockey proved to still not be enough time, so the two teams headed to a shootout. Bergeron struck once again, and in this case, was the only one to put a puck past a goalie, ultimately giving the Bruins the win.

Blue Warrior

How about James Reimer? Most of the skaters had pretty awful nights, and the Bruins were determined to take advantage of that. However, Optimus Reim came through in incredible fashion, making 49 saves on 50 shots and stopping two of three shootout attempts.

He seems like the type of guy that loves everyone and everything, but if I had to guess, his one exception to the rule might be Patrice Bergeron. For, you know, reasons.

Summing It Up

I’m sure a lot of Leafs fans are unamused right now. Having to cheer against their favourite team is one thing, but cheering for the Bruins? Unacceptable. In return, they saw their team basically get held against a wall and slowly punched out. To make matters worse, they still got a point! Really, it’s all the stuff you didn’t want to see happen tonight, rolled into one and sold to you as a broadcast.  The Leafs return to the ice tomorrow, against the Senators. Just three more to go!

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  • TGT23

    Heck of a game by Reimer. Been fairly good of late. Probably deserved a better fate but that aside, great game.

    Will be interesting to see, should he get another start or two in the last couple games, whether or not he can improve his value or standing with the team.

    Bring on the summer! Gonna be a long one.

  • TGT23

    i got my wish. i wanted reimer to have an excellent game but have the team lose. damn shame it wasn’t in regulation but at least the hurricanes picked up 2 points today!

  • CMpuck

    Reimer truly is on a role with a magnificent performance this evening. Oh sure there was game seven we will all remember but it was Reimer in games 5 and 6 who made it a 7 game series.

    Shanahan and company have a very serious decision to make about their goal tending situation in the summer.
    I’m not sure you would get for Bernier at this point in his career. But obviously you would get more for him than Reimer. I just don’t see Bernier being the goal tender the leafs will be using when become a respectable team.
    Next year is phase two of tanking and thus I would go with Reimer and a younster. With a possible generation player in Matthews available for the 2016 draft the leafs must continue to slowly build the key pillar foundations. Reilly is the start and hopefully Nylander will be a good one and it is likely they will get a top prospect in June.

    Not a good night for the leafs cousins as Raptors defence makes the leaf defence look good some nights.

    Bring on the Jays they are undefeated in regular season play.

    • TGT23

      The thing with Reimer/Bernier and if they are the goalie of the future for the team is it depends on how long the rebuild takes.

      Correct me if I’m wrong but Reimer and Bernier are more or less the same age. I think Reim’s is a few months or a year older.

      If the rebuild can be properly done in 3 seasons and the team can start looking to be playoff contenders after, both goalies will still be in their very early 30’s and can still be useful to the team for the first couple years.

      If it is going to be a 5+ year rebuild where they don’t look for playoff action till year six, neither goalie has any use to the team and a prospect goalie needs to be brought in (around year 2-3 IMO).

      Trade Bernier for picks, keep Reimer and start him for a year to get his value back up (hopefully….) and then ship him, too

      • CMpuck

        T.G. I tend to agree both goalies will likely be around 30 when the turn around is in full drive. But you have to wonder about the psyche of these two guys playing in front of pylons year after year. Facing a lot of pressure on a particular shift with the opposition buzzing around the net while either Reimer or Bernier watches Kessel float out at the blue line not even within 50 feet of the action has to wear on the goalies mental out look.

        With a solid organization that emphasizes defence both goalies could thrive. I just don’t see it in Toronto.

        One thing I’ve notice in having been born in Canuckleville many moons ago including the lunar eclipse moon last Saturday morning, is that the Canucks seem to bring in some cast off from a Sunday garage sale and slowly work him into their defence and within a couple of years presto a solid N.H.L. defenceman. The latest example being a Toronto born lad, Chris Tanev who was picked off Chicago’s used pile and a few years later is a top three defenceman and just signed a 4.5 million dollar contract.

        Unless your whole team buys into playing a 200 foot game and a solid defensive game you will struggle to make the playoffs each season.

        I’m not sure if you are a Raptors fan but they are playoff bound but are playing absolutely horrid defence and thus the Raptor fans know that unless they stop spreading like the red sea to let every guard in the league simply drive into the key to score or dish off to a team mate who dunks, the Raptor playoff season will be very short.

        Happy Easter to you.

  • STAN

    I’m actually giddy just thinking about the final 72 shifts or so for The Pylon. Hopefully they’ll be his last as a Leaf.

    Booth, Sill and Lindstrom were the Leafs hardest working and most impressive forwards, although Kessel showed a few nice snap shots that just missed.

    And Reimer. Great game. Too bad he was given little support, especially on the one that beat him.

    Blue Jays and Yankees. Monday.


  • CMpuck

    Wow, Riemer is on another one of his two game hot streaks, it’s like when the kid that usually struggles in class gets a B+ and everyone has to tell him how oh so special he is. Fall in love with Optimus Riem all over again monkeys.