JamesReimer

 

A new piece taking a contrarion view on the cap value of James Reimer and Jonathan Bernier


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On Friday September 20th, Steve Laidlaw wrote in the daily ramblings:

 “James Reimer was solid last season, skating on a team that was consistently outshot. I’m not sure Bernier could hold up under fire the way Reimer did last season. If Bernier is just in Toronto to be a backup or an insurance policy the Leafs are paying way too much for it.”

I beg to differ about Reimer’s play. He is who we thought he was and I’ve got 16 minutes and 47 seconds to show you why.

First, I understand that we fans look at things through fantasy glasses. It is all about our stat categories. Usually, this means Wins, Shutouts, maybe GAA or Save Percentage. That skews things.

Here are his stats from the last two seasons:

 

Season

GP

W

L

OT

Shots Against

Goals Against

GAA

Saves

Sv %

TOI

Shots / Game

Shots / TOI

2012/13

James Reimer

33

19

8

5

995

76

2.46

919

0.924

1,856:09

30.152

0.536

2011/12

James Reimer

34

14

14

4

974

97

3.10

877

0.900

1,879:15

28.647

0.518

 

He plays about the same number of games, faced 21 fewer shots and let in 21 fewer goals in total. Reimer is only facing 1.5 more shots per game as compared to the year before. So far Steve looks good.

Now look at the teams stats from the last two seasons:

 

Season

GP

Goals For

Goals For / Game

Goals Against

Goals Against / Game

Power Play Goals Against

PPGA / Game

PK %

2012/13

TORONTO

48

145

3.02

128

2.67

19

0.396

87.9

2011/12

TORONTO

82

227

2.77

259

3.16

55

0.671

77.3

 

They increased their scoring by a ¼ goal per game which helps the team and Reimer get wins. They decreased their goals against by ½ a goal a game but it mostly comes from a better penalty killing system under Carlyle. The team was better which generated better stats for Reimer. Good as long as we keep looking through those fantasy glasses.

Last year was special in that it was a shortened season. Carlyle had them playing hard-nosed hockey all that time. It will be more difficult to do that consistently over 82 games this season.

But my final point on the matter of James Reimer comes down to time. Ten minutes and 42 seconds to blow a three goal lead and six minutes and five seconds to lose game seven in overtime. The Leafs and James Reimer from 2011/12 were on the ice during that stretch of 16:47, while the 2012/13 versions were already in the locker room celebrating. You can watch the highlights here:  Click to watch Leafs in shock

Yes, Johanthan Bernier has been a backup goalie in his time with the Kings but he does have a Stanley Cup to his credit.

Here are his stats from the last two years:


Season

GP

W

L

OT

Shots Against

Goals Against

GAA

Saves

Sv %

TOI

Shots / Game

Shots / TOI

2012/13

Jonathan Bernier

14

9

3

1

306

24

1.88

282

0.92

768:21

21.857

0.398

2011/12

Jonathan Bernier

16

5

6

2

383

35

2.36

348

0.91

890:12

23.938

0.430

 

He is only 25 years old and, current equipment issues aside, on the upswing of his career. The money isn’t being spent on a one-time great whose abilities no longer match their past accomplishments. His cap hit is going to be 2.9 million dollars and if he is a backup then the only comparison to his contract is Anaheim’s Viktor Fasth.

If the starting job is split equally between Reimer and Bernier then the cost is not terrible. The Leafs are paying 4.7 million dollars on goaltending in total. Only the Flames, Avalanche, Oilers, Panthers, Islanders, Senators, Flyers, Sharks, Lightning, Capitals and Jets are paying less for their tandems. (I have excluded Chicago because of Crawford’s extension). Five of those teams are on Steve’s terrible tier. I think Ottawa and Washington have better or equal value for the money spent on their goaltenders as compared to Toronto’s.

However, if Bernier becomes the clear starter then it is Reimer’s 1.8 million dollars that are compared to other backups which is closer to the norm throughout the league. Bernier’s contract would then look relatively small compared to the other starters.

Management brought in Bernier because they too worry that Reimer is who we thought he was and that he hasn’t changed. They couldn’t pay enough money to wipe away the sting of last year but they sure as heck are going to try to prevent the same thing from happening in the future.

(All salary or cap hit amounts are from CapGeek.com. Game statistics are from NHL.com)

 




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solo223 said:

solo223
... Sure but i was just referring to this Demetrios Fragopoulos...I am well aware of how the Toronto or Mtl media are, specially goaltending....
September 23, 2013
Votes: +0

DarthVain said:

DarthVain
how about being fair? LOL!

Oh boy... wipes away tear... that was a good one solo223!

Since when has the Toronto organization, media, or fans ever been fair? Um, never. On top of that they are particularly twitchy in regards to "playoffs" (when they see them) and "goalies".

Perfect example is Ed Belfour. I forget what year it was (but oh it was a long time ago now), but Toronto just got punted from the playoffs. The final game went to I believe double overtime, when the other team (can't even remember who) finally scored on Belfour. The media called it a weak goal, and the fans all started slavering and putting 100% of all the blame of all things wrong with Toronto squarely on Ed Belfour's shoulders. I, not even being a fan of Toronto, was the one to point out, easy save or no, Ed Belfour save OVER 70 shots that game and let in 2 or 3. The opposing goalie, had HALF as many shots that game, but somehow this was all Ed Belfour's fault and that is that.

Anyway only Montreal is harder on its goalies insofar as the media and fan go, they are a fickle bunch and seem to turn on them in a second (Which is why Price is Perfect in Montreal as he seems not to care be asleep half the time). Anyway hockey is a spectator sport, and in the big markets, much of it is about perception.

I think the article is more about management watching its own ass VS anything to really do with hockey. See, we did something! Also they were able to acquire, probably not that much of a risky venture for good possible outcomes. Really when you look at it, either one or the other will go well, and then they can say that was the ultimate purpose and they look like geniuses, or if both inexplicably fail, they can shrug and say, well we did everything we could fans...
September 23, 2013
Votes: +0

newfcollins said:

newfcollins
... I find it hard to base someone's career on 17 minutes of a game 7 on a pressure-based team in the playoffs for the first time in almost a decade. He's a young goalie in the playoffs for the first time.
September 22, 2013
Votes: +1

solo223 said:

solo223
how about being fair how about being fair and not just knocking it on Reimer....Phaneuf was terrible in that last 10 minutes being on the ice for at least 3 goals to my recollection...terrible positioning, got caught off guard....Leafs collapse is not to be put solely on Reimer.....if i can find anyone to blame, it's Phaneuf...overated guy, great fantasy wise with the hits but as far as being reliable on the back end, he's far from it....bad article....you can do better than that...pretty simplistic way to the blame on one guy alone when it is a team game....
September 22, 2013
Votes: +1

Rad64 said:

Rad64
... That is an interesting perspective, but to throw a little water on the fire:

The Leafs penalty kill was actually worse in 2010-11, while Reimer's stats in that year mirrored his stats last season.

Toronto Maple Leafs 2010-2011 76.27%

Season Age Tm Lg GP W L T/O GA SA SV SV% GAA SO MIN GPS G A PTS PIM
2010-11 22 TOR NHL 37 20 10 5 90 1134 1044 .921 2.60 3 2080 7.8 0 1 1 2
2011-12 23 TOR NHL 34 14 14 4 97 974 877 .900 3.10 3 1879 4.3 0 0 0 0
2012-13 24 TOR NHL 33 19 8 5 76 995 919 .924 2.46 4 1856 7.5 0 1 1 0

I would argue Reimer's troubles in 2011-12 were related to injuries..plain and simple...and that is a prime reason to bring in Bernier, as well. You need a starter to be able to handle a 60-70 game season.

I have no doubt that if Reimer hadn't been run by Gionta early in 2011-12 and played a full year, we wouldn't see Bernier in Toronto today.
September 22, 2013
Votes: +0
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