Much of the discussion following the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings this morning revolved around goaltender James Reimer. Reimer was brilliant in relief of starter Jonathan Bernier, who left the game after the first period with a lower-body injury. Reimer saved all 31 shots he faced in the 40 minutes he played, including two absolute robberies of Kings centre Anze Kopitar.
There was a concern, however, when Jarret Stoll’s skate collided with Reimer’s head when he left the crease to pounce on a loose puck. You can view the play starting at the 3:45 mark of the Game In Six:
When I watched the TSN replays during the second intermission, it didn’t look to me like Stoll’s skate hit Reimer’s head. Apparently, according to Jonas Siegel of TSN, Randy Carlyle felt the same way.
But after watching the GI6 and reading Reimer’s post-game comments (also in the Siegel piece), it’s evident the skate did hit Reimer’s head. Reimer said the collision “kind of rang my bell” and gave him “a little bit of a headache”. He lay motionless on the ice for a couple of seconds immediately after the play before slowly getting to his feet.
With Reimer’s concussion history and the Leafs’ history of misdiagnosing head injuries, it’s all a bit worrisome. We still don’t know anything more about Bernier’s injury, but hopefully the two days rest before Sunday’s game will get them both healthy. Lord knows the Leafs will need both of them performing to the best of their abilities as the stretch drive continues.
Both goalies have played well this season, but there’s still a segment of Leafs fans who believe there remains a bias against Reimer from Carlyle and the Toronto media. While I disagreed with the notion that Bernier should have been “anointed” the starter before he had even played a game for the Leafs, I will also admit Bernier’s strong play has proven he deserves to get the bulk of the starts. Reimer simply hasn’t done enough to overtake his teammate in that regard.
With that being said, it does appear Reimer has often been “left out to dry” by his teammates in the few games he’s played in. 13_Leafs of Blue and White Brotherhood looked at whether or not this is the case.
Have you ever wondered how different NHL team websites stack up in terms of pageviews, visits and other metrics? Dirk Hoag of On The Forecheck shares that information from last month provided by Quantcast.com.
The Toronto Maple Leafs announced a week ago that they would be employing “ice girls”, starting with the March 3 game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. I’m disappointed with this news. The game should always be about the game, and the game alone. I don’t need all of that extra “entertainment” that you’re constantly inundated with at, say, a Toronto Raptors game, because I don’t go to a game for that. I go because I want to watch the Leafs play.
As Melissa Geschwind writes in a piece for Yahoo! Puck Daddy, the prevalence of ice girls shows the NHL has a long way to go to rid itself of its sexism problem.
Michigan State Police released a statement yesterday saying that 20-year-old former Saginaw Spirit OHL player Terry Trafford died of self-inflicted asphyxiation. OHL commissioner David Branch said the league won’t launch its own investigation into the ordeal, and will wait for police to finish their own investigations. Michael Traikos of the National Post has the story.