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Don Cherry: Leafs threw Reimer ‘to the wolves’ against Bruins

Nov 9, 2013, 9:55 PM EDT

Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Six Getty Images

Don Cherry weighed in on the fact James Reimer was the Toronto Maple Leafs’ starting goaltender Saturday night.

“What we call what they do with Reimer is throwing him to the wolves,” said Cherry during his Coach’s Corner segment on Hockey Night in Canada.

“You play him in Vancouver … you’re not going to win in Vancouver, they were not going to win that game. There’s no way. You put him in Boston, going to be pretty tough to win in Boston.

“So what you do is protect (Jonathan Bernier).”

So, there is that theory. The “wolves” got the best of Reimer. The Bruins defeated the Leafs 3-1, thanks to a pair of third-period goal from Patrice Bergeron.

However, Reimer played well, making 31 saves. He was particularly good in the first period, the Leafs were outshot 14-7.

But playing the Bruins also has something of personal significance for Reimer, who was in goal for the Leafs during their third-period meltdown in Boston in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference quarter-final.

“It means something, but I don’t think it’s as big a deal as I’m sure people are making it out to be,” Reimer said Friday, as per an article in Metro.

“If we win there (Saturday) it doesn’t reverse what happened last year. If we play them in the first round of the playoffs again, then maybe you can say there’s more of a story there. But it’s a regular-season game.”

  1. ibieiniid - Nov 9, 2013 at 10:36 PM

    so the goalie you play against good teams is now know as ‘wolf bait?’ I remember when you called that guy your ‘starter.’

    am I missing something here? (yes, I realize Cherry normally speaks nonsense)

    • sunderlanding - Nov 10, 2013 at 4:46 PM

      It’s not that complicated. If you trade for someone, sign him right away to an extension, and play him in all the games you think you can win (except maybe Chicago) then you’re throwing the other guy to the wolves. Only playing him in games you think you’ll loose, but hope he might prove you wrong. Anyone who’s been watching the Leaf’s this year knows that’s how they’ve been treating James. Once again Cherry is right on the money.

    • somekat - Nov 10, 2013 at 7:33 PM

      I haven’t been watching the Leafs much so far this year, so I really can’t comment on the exact situation.

      But if every time you are playing a better team you start one guy, and every time you are facing a lower tier team you are playing the other guy, clearly you are trying to help the confidence of the second guy, at the expense of the first guy. There’s nothing wrong with it, if the Leafs decided Bernier was their guy, it’s their decision, and it’s Renimer’s job to step in when called upon. But just because there’s nothing wrong with it, doesn’t mean it’s not happening

      All I can say to Remeir, if this is happening, the rest of the league can see it. When the Leafs finally do give the job to him full time, there will be plenty of suitors for you

  2. itsallniceonice - Nov 9, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    First off I agree with what you said. Obviously you would start the guy you have most confidence in against the harder matchups.

    Now, I’m not a Toronto fan so I don’t know the team sentiment or the fan sentiment. Bernier has played a lot of games as “backup”. Sounds like he thinks they are trying to tip the scales. With how well Reimer played in the playoffs and this year it makes sense. They brought in Bernier and are giving him more starts than necessary.

    • itsallniceonice - Nov 9, 2013 at 11:31 PM

      Meant to reply to ibieiniid.

  3. muckleflugga - Nov 9, 2013 at 11:50 PM

    cherry rocks…

  4. icelovinbrotha215 - Nov 9, 2013 at 11:54 PM

    Should we be surprised? It’s Don Cherry we are talking about here.

  5. budzo83 - Nov 9, 2013 at 11:54 PM

    Carlyle is making the No. 1 spot Reimer’s to lose. Simple as that. No “throwing to the wolves” involved. Bernier is going to get his starts, but he’s mostly just waiting in the wings until Reimer puts together consecutive lackluster performances.

    • sunderlanding - Nov 11, 2013 at 7:33 PM

      Bernier is starting more games. How does that make the No. 1 sport Reimer’s? Last I checked the starting goalie starts most of the games.

  6. nhstateline - Nov 10, 2013 at 7:56 AM

    He played well last night. So did the Leafs team for a lot of the game. Some nights the Bruins beat the opponent and some nights the schedule beats the opponent. This was a little of both. The Leafs were very sluggish in the first and at the start of the third I was wondering if the back to back games and travel thing would show up. It did. They looked like they were running out of gas as the period went on. In the NHL in an Olympic Year, it’s going to happen a few times to every team. The Bruins also played well in the 1st and 3rd but looked like they had played and traveled in the second. All in all, really fun game to watch for this time of year.

  7. packerswin96 - Nov 10, 2013 at 9:04 AM

    Didn’t the Habs go into Vancouver and beat them?

    • sunderlanding - Nov 11, 2013 at 8:08 PM

      The Habs aren’t the Leafs. Toronto hasn’t won in Vancouver in over 7 years.

  8. blackhawks2010 - Nov 10, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    Grapes is right on the mark.

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