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Leafs’ Reimer: “I want to come in and show that I can be the starter”

Jul 12, 2012, 4:14 PM EDT

James Reimer Getty Images

After a disappointing, injury-riddled campaign and an offseason filled with rumors, James Reimer is focusing on just one thing:

Being Toronto’s No. 1 goalie next year.

That’s what the 24-year-old told TSN on Thursday, saying he wants to get back to his form of two seasons ago. That was when he appeared in a career-high 37 games, posted a 20-10-5 record with a .921 save percentage and 2.60 GAA — and became Toronto’s starting goalie.

“That’s the goal,” Reimer said. “That’s the goal ever since you’re three years old, whether you had a great year or a tough year is to go in there and prove that you’re the starter.”

The problem, of course, is some are skeptical that Reimer can be the starter. His 2011-12 season ended with sub-par numbers — 14-14-4, .900 save percentage, 3.10 GAA — and an admission from Leafs GM Brian Burke that he was looking to upgrade the goaltending position (hence the Roberto Luongo rumors.)

Burke later cooled on the need to upgrade in goal, but didn’t exactly offer Reimer an endorsement in the process. He stated he’s “prepared to go forward” with Reimer and Ben Scrivens, who spent last year with the AHL Marlies. It was more a backing of the tandem rather than Reimer as the No. 1 — but that’s hardly prevented Reimer from saying he’s out to prove he’s the starter.


“That’s what I wanted to do last year and that’s what I want to do again this year coming into camp,” he said. “I want to come in and show that I can be the starter and that they need to look nowhere else.”

Related: Is Burke really going to roll the dice with Reimer again?

  1. ray2013 - Jul 12, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    Good luck to him.

  2. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jul 12, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    He was playing really well before the concussion last year and he never got back on track afterwards, plus the Leafs D didn’t help him out much. He can be a good NHL starter but having a veteran guy around for a couple years would probably be helpful. I hear Hasek is looking for work….

    • jrsaffell - Jul 12, 2012 at 4:52 PM

      He only played a handful of games before the concussion. Leafs D actually played very well for him a couple games (his shutouts and big save number wins) but they were not consistent.

      Ultimately the team D failed the goalies more than the goalies failed the team. Gus was run out of town because of what amounted to about 5 really crappy goals, but solid play otherwise.

      Reimer was scary to watch in net since the injury, really held your breath whenever a shot got on goal.

      Leaf’s Nation needs Reimer to be at least a good goalie. He can develop into a great one 5 years from now, we just need someone that can be solid most of the time for now.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jul 12, 2012 at 4:55 PM

        That’s pretty much what I just said. He was good from the time he broke into the league up until the concussion. Then he wasn’t himself and got no support from his D-men.

  3. rekingcrew - Jul 12, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    So do the rest of the people that have grown up chuckling at the leaves.

  4. spongebobsportspants - Jul 12, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    Burke drives me nuts. He talks about being active in talks but then ends up saying he didn’t like the offers. Now he’s sticking with Reimer after saying he needs to upgrade. I love the Leafs but this is not a playoff team so far. Next off season is going to be nuts in Toronto if there is no whiffs. Absolutely NUTS!

    • spongebobsportspants - Jul 12, 2012 at 6:16 PM

      Sorry, playoffs. Not whiffs.

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