James Reimer Image: Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sports
After adding a trio of new names to the Pro Reads library in recent weeks with the debuts of Cam Talbot, Braden Holtby and Curtis McElhinney, we wanted to go back to one of our original favorites in this video breakdown series in James Reimer, who also happens to be tied atop the NHL with a .943 save percentage for the resurgent San Jose Sharks.
We haven’t had a chance to catch up with Reimer wearing teal yet but didn’t waste any of his video sessions from last year with the Carolina Hurricanes before adding fresh clips from this season. As anyone who tuned into Reimer’s past appearances in this space already knows, his insights are too good to waste, so let’s review the last of six he did with the Hurricanes.
This one starts as a rush against the Chicago Blackhawks, with forward Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat attacking the blue line with speed and the chance to turn a 2-on-3 into a 2-on-1:
Despite appearing to have help coming back, how would you approach this attack? Do you treat it as a 2-on-1? What about the defending players might affect how you would — or Reimer does — approach this scoring chance? What information matters most about the attacking players?
What do you make of Reimer’s depth as Strome gets closer, and DeBrincat loads up below?
If you identified a forward coming back in that first freeze frame, you might not be surprised to see this next one after he’s slid through the play as Strome holds and another option appears:
Okay, those first two feel a little misleading given how things are now playing out, but how Reimer handles the initial situation — and why — contains important play reading lessons even before we get to the final save decisions. So let’s take a look at the entire sequence quickly before we check in with Reimer to understand his decision making process on it.
Watching that play out, what do you think of Reimer coming across in a partial slide when the pass finally does go to the trailer in the middle, rather than trying to beat it on his skates?
THE PRO READ
Let’s check in with Reimer to find out how he saw things, and why he came across on his knees.
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