Toronto Maple Leafs: James Reimer Leaves Game with Head Injury
The evening began with great hope and opportunity for beleaguered Toronto Maple Leafs’ goaltender James Reimer.
He was making his first start of the 2014-2015 campaign in place of Jonathan Bernier, who floundered in the team’s first two games of the new season.
Oct 12, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Lee Stempniak (12) scores on Toronto Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer (34) during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
This was Reimer’s first real opportunity to reclaim the top goaltending duties that he held for the Leafs before the arrival of Bernier last season. Desperate to make an impression and seize the opportunity, Reimer looked solid through the first two periods of tonight’s game against the New York Rangers.
He stopped 10 shots in the first period and 11 shots in the second, backstopping the Leafs to a 6-2 lead before the start of the third period. Several of these stops where highlight-reel quality as Reimer showed off his athletic style of play and strong desire to play.
Reimer continued the hot play to start the third period of action, but his great night wasn’t meant to last. An errant hip from Rangers forward and former Leafs member Dominic Moore clipped Reimer in the head during the final frame. Reimer was slow to get up after the hit and later left the game. Bernier took over in his absence.
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A history of head injuries has over shadowed Reimer’s one rising star in Toronto. The height of the “head crisis” came in November 2011 when Dave Feschuk, a Toronto Star beat writer for the Leafs, called Reimer’s mom to inquire about his health following a harsh head blow by former Montreal Canadiens captain Brian Gionta.
The move tonight was seen as precautionary and an easy one given the Leafs’ commanding 6-2 lead at the time.
Initial reports indicate that Reimer is fine, which the Leafs will welcome as great news. (I’m sure his mom’s happy, too.)
Are you concerned for Reimer’s health given his history of head injuries? Is it related to the way he plays?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
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