Revenge of James Reimer

Regardless of where one stands on Randy Carlyle as a coach, he did not handle James Reimer with respect or courtesy over the last 18 months. Possibly, their situation started in the last game of the playoffs in 2013. Possibly, Carlyle blames Reimer for that collapse. Possibly, he was the one who pushed Nonis into pursuing Bernier. Possibly, and possibly rightly, Carlyle blames Reimer for last year’s collapse, for it was during Bernier’s injury that the Maple Leafs derailed on their way to what seemed like playoff certainty. With his teammates chasing their own tails, Reimer was the one player who needed to stand on his head. He didn’t.

Fast forward to the fall of 2014, Reimer was off to another good if not great start. In December, Bernier was injured again. And again, Reimer chose this time to play his worst games. This time, it was moot whether Carlyle blamed Reimer or so. Because, this time, Reimer’s slump was perfectly timed to derail what looked like a job-saving season for Carlyle.

James Reimer is as decent a hockey player as you will find. So no one should suspect him for deliberately timing his stinky play to ambush Carlyle, to seek revenge. But it was perfect timing nonetheless.