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Leafs’ Reimer hopes to get along with Bernier

Aug 21, 2013, 8:50 PM EDT

jamesreimergetty Getty Images

James Reimer has every right to be bitter about the Toronto Maple Leafs’ decision to trade for Jonathan Bernier. That seemed to be true at first, but Reimer indicated to TSN that he’s using it as motivation.

He also hopes to foster a respectful relationship with his new platoon mate.

“It’s really important to get along,” Reimer said. “I think when you do and you play similar and you’re on the same page, I think it gives you another set of eyes, almost like a goalie coach sitting on the bench watching you play every game.”

Bernier is no stranger to battling for starts, which he noted to

“I’m used to it,” Bernier said. “I’m sure they made the trade because they thought we could have a pretty good battle between me and Reimer, and that’s what I’m looking for, to get a chance to prove what I can do and get some playing time and hopefully fit well on my new team.”

It’s early, but both netminders seem like they’re carrying a healthy attitude into their battle. For now, at least.

(H/T to Rotoworld.)

  1. logicalcomment - Aug 21, 2013 at 9:12 PM

    67 !

    • stinkpretty1 - Aug 23, 2013 at 12:13 AM

      love it!!

  2. vanindeed - Aug 21, 2013 at 9:18 PM

    Reimer is our guy…………until the next flavour of the month shoes up.

  3. chanceoffleury1 - Aug 21, 2013 at 10:13 PM

    Got rid of Schneider/Luongo but got Mason/Emery and Reimer/Bernier in return. What joy…../s

  4. maria716 - Aug 22, 2013 at 12:10 AM

    I’m not sure Reimer should be worried about the starting position just yet. Bernier’s stats may look better on paper, but he also had the decided advantage to be playing behind a team that was much more “defensively responsible” (approx +42 as a team for the 12-13 season vs approx +14 for TOR) and whose d-corp included players like Muzzin, Voynov, Ellerby & Doughty. It will be interesting to see how he does behind a defensive lineup that includes Phaneuf, Holzer, Kostka & Liles.

    • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Aug 22, 2013 at 12:29 AM

      Holzer hasn’t been on the team in a while, Kostka signed elsewhere as a free agent and Liles is either getting traded or stuffed in the minors.

      Leafs D are Phaneuf, Gunnarsson, Franson, Fraser, Gardiner and Ranger.

      • hockey412 - Aug 22, 2013 at 8:26 AM

        Can’t see how they can sign Franson as-is…I agree I’d trade Liles and see if they can make that happen.

    • mistercue62 - Aug 24, 2013 at 4:54 AM

      “..not sure Reimer should be worried about the starting position just yet”?? Well if he’s not, than Reimer is even more dense than he appears! While he’s certainly not the sharpest knife in the drawer (he managed on several occasions to surpass Andrew Raycroft, easily the stupidest goaltender in the history of this storied franchise, by using the expression “ya know” more than 30 times in a one minute interview), he couldn’t possibly be so clueless as to not be enormously concerned about his status with this organization going forward…and with good reason. To wit, if Maple Leafs management believed for even a second that Reimer was their #1 guy “going forward”, they NEVER would have made this deal, nor would they have been openly pursuing a veteran starter for the past year. Instead, they would have likely brought in an aging veteran backup to steal a few games for considerably less than what they’re paying Bernier; the last thing that they would have done would be to trade for a young budding superstar goaltender who is universally considered #1 material and viewed by many GMs around the NHLas the best young goalie in the league. Even the simple fact that the Leafs are paying Bernier more than Reimer (on a fairly typical first contract for an NHL starter) should be evidence enough that Reimer is all but finished with the Leafs, at least as the starting netminder. Everyone seems to have forgotten that Bernier was a high first round pick by the Kings (11th overall) in 2006. He was supposed to ultimately become LA’s #1 guy goung forward and had it not been for the largely unanticipated stellar play of Jonathan Quick, that is precisely what he would have become.

      The Leafs ongoing lack of confidence in James Reimer certainly hasn’t been subtle; they simply don’t feel that he’s a very good starting goaltender…and they’re right. In fact, Reimer has little business being an NHL starter in the first place; at best, he’s a serviceable back-up. With 3 years under his belt, he still possesses the same critical flaws that he had when he first took over the starting job. He still goes down way too early on nearly every shot, his glove is positively attrocious, he plays too far back in his net, rarely coming out to challenge shooters, he can’t handle the puck to save his life, routinely coughing it up behind the net, his lateral movement is extremely poor, he plays a butterfly style yet can’t seem to remember to put his stick on the ice leading to a five-hole goal almost nightly and most importantly, he gives up rebound after rebound right in front or into the slot. In fact, his rebound control is so horrible that Randy Carlyle was forced to impliment a “collapse down low” defensive strategy, leaving the points virtually unguarded, in order to ensure that at least two players would be in position at all times to clear away Reimer’s endless array of juicy rebounds. Yet despite this inordinate number of flagrant, critical flaws, for some unfathomable reason a large contingent of Leaf fans have fallen in love with this guy to the point that any perceived slight or criticism of James Reimer is routinely met with a systematic firestorm of enraged, reactionary comments. This typical passionate support of a “nice guy” player might explain to some degree why Dave Nonis has been elusive and non-commital about who exactly will be his #1 guy going into this season or the whole “healthy competition” charade.

      Jonathan Bernier, on the other hand, is the real deal. I’ve had the pleasure of watching this guy play on the west coast and believe me, he is fantastic! In fact, he was the principal reason that the Kings managed to stay in the playoff race while Quick was sidelined last season. And unlike Reimer, his lateral movement is amazing, he handles the puck like a top defenseman, he routinely (and successfully) comes out to challenge shooters, he plays the butterfly as well as Tony Esposito once so prolifically did, his glove is as good as José Bautista’s and most importantly, he gives up very few rebounds and steers the few that he does safely into the corner as well as Tukka Rask!

      Yet we continue to debate this matter? Must be a slow summer for hockey news!

      Jonathan Bernier is the new starting goaltender for the Toronto Maple Leafs…PERIOD!

  5. Lupy Nazty Philthy - Aug 22, 2013 at 12:25 AM

    This stinks of the Toronto media fishing for a controversy in net. Reimer is such a positive guy, he understand the nature of the job. He stole the starting role from Giguere and Gustavsson in the first place. I’m sure he’ll play his best when asked to… and healthy competition never hurt anyone. They’re both good goalies with a lot of potention.

    If Bernier turns out to be even better than Reimer, then it’s even better news for Toronto. Judging by what teams are getting for good young goalies these days… Ottawa got Cory Conacher for Ben Bishop, Canucks got a top 10 draft pick for Cory Schneider. I would imagine Reimer or Bernier fall somewhere inbetween, so the Leafs need to trade one they can add a serious piece to the puzzle.

    All that still seems a couple of years away anyways. They’re both still young goalies and have a lot to prove. Halak and Elliott on the Blues should be more of a controversy than two goalies with barely any experience.

    • hockey412 - Aug 22, 2013 at 8:31 AM

      I agree with all that (except I don’t know what potention is). I think Reimer should have starting job due to his wife though. She’s unbelievable.

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Aug 22, 2013 at 1:31 PM

        Sorry. I meant potential*

    • kaptaanamerica - Aug 22, 2013 at 8:40 AM

      how do you figure reimer and bernier fall between bishop and schneider? young goalies don’t get much return, better to develop your own and keep him rather than try and trade one out to get something back. if schneider can only fetch a top 10 pick in a deep draft (horvat is pretty good though), then you’ll get a prospect or a 1st rounder at best if you are lucky for a young goalie, if that. teams have stopped drafting goalies in the first round after seeing the debacle that Fleury has become and seeing how 3rd and later round picks have developed over time like bishop, etc…

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Aug 22, 2013 at 1:36 PM

        Well, they both have more experience than Bishop and less than Schneider. They’re all good young goalies. It’s fair to assume the Leafs could get something good whether it’s a player, pick or prospect.

        And like I said, any trades involving either of these guys is at least a couple years away. There’s no way they make a deal this year, there would be no one to play backup.

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