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InGoal Daily Update: Impressive Reimer headed down

InGoal Daily Update: Impressive Reimer headed down

… Plus Giguere considers a trade, Moog recovering from heart attack, Osgood going under the knife and more in Jan. 11 Daily Update

reimer mask

James Reimer turned heads with this depiction of Canadian broadcasting icons Don Cherry and Ron MacLean on his mask, but is now making headlines for his play. (Image courtesy of DaveArt and

When James Reimer was called up by the Maple Leafs for the first time in mid-November, the only headlines he made were for a new goalie mask that arrived a short time later with picture of iconic Canadian television broadcasters Don Cherry and Ron McLean painted on the left side.

Reimer didn’t get into a single game, but since being recalled again after veteran Jean-Sebastien Giguere re-injured his groin in mid-December Reimer is playing a lot more, and playing well. The irony now that Reimer is making news for a 3-1-0 stretch that includes a 1.90 goals-against average and .945 save percentage after Tuesday’s 30-save, 3-2 win in Los Angeles, is he won’t be with the Maple Leafs much longer.

After originally getting into (another) tiff with the Toronto media over Reimer’s future, Leafs head coach Ron Wilson conceded what most knew: That the 22-year-old was destined for a return ticket to the AHL Toronto Marlies when Giguere returned, possibly later this week.

Despite Wilson told the Toronto Sun he’s been impressed by the prospect’s play:

“He’s got some great experience, we have faith that he can get the job done and that’s a real bonus for us right now. We have two other goalies down there playing well, too, (Jussi Rynnas and Ben Scrivens). You can only use one goalie at a time, but it gives (general manager) Brian Burke some options.”

In the Toronto Sun article Wilson also praised Reimer’s work ethic over the past three years, pointing out all the work he did with ex-goalie coach Corey Hirsch en route to a championship in the ECHL, and praising the time he’s put in with current goalie guru Francois Allaire since.

“He’s a calm, confident kid … He follows the puck really well and he smothers things. The work he’s put in, buying into Francois Allaire’s style of goaltending…he’s got the body to do it. We’re always looking for people with hockey sense to go with his skills and from what I see, he has a lot for a goalie.”

As for the now infamous mask pictured above, we’ll let Reimer explain it himself, with some assistance from our puck-stopping friends at Canada’s The Score television network:

Sticking with the Maple Leafs, the National Post catches up with Giguere, who knows his time in Toronto may be running out as he prepares to return. In addition to the uncertainty of next season, Giguere said he is open to the possibility of waiving his no-trade clause should another team express interest before the Feb. 28 deadline for deals.

It’s an option Giguere told the Post he’d consider only because Burke first granted him the no-trade option in Anaheim while dealing with his newborn son’s serious eye problem.

“I truly believe that Burkie helped me last year by bringing me to Toronto. With my salary and another year left on my contract, that probably wasn’t an easy trade for him to make. It was certainly a bit of a risk. So if it came down to a deal he wanted to make at the deadline this year, I think I would have to respect his wish and, at least, talk with my family.”

Osgood predicts surgery correctly, but not timeline

Chris Osgood quietly told InGoal Magazine on Saturday night that he expected to need surgery for what he thought was a sports hernia that had been plaguing him most of the season. He also expected to be back within four weeks, so there was probably an element of disappointment for the Red Wings’ three-time Stanley Cup winner when he found out Monday he did indeed require sports hernia surgery, but it would keep him out six to eight weeks. Still, that’s enough time to be back for the playoffs, which was the point of finally getting it addressed now.

“If the doctor sees a significant tear, it’ll be closer to eight weeks,” GM Ken Holland told the Detroit Free Press. “If not, it’ll be closer to six weeks.”

The Free Press has an update on Osgood, plus a look at the Red Wings’ faith in new backup Joey MacDonald, who was called up from Grand Rapids and replaced starter Jimmy Howard during Monday night’s loss in Colorado.

Meanwhile, Osgood who in December became just the 10th goalie to ever record 400 NHL wins, remains stuck two victories behind Grant Fuhr (403) and six back of Glenn Hall (407).

One-timers from around the world of goaltending:

~ Former goaltending great and position coach Andy Moog suffered a heart attack while working out at a gym on Boxing Day, but happily, according to a report in the Post, the three-time Stanley Cup champion has already started rehab and is well on his way to a full recovery.

~ As if the continued struggles of Steve Mason and the Columbus Blue Jackets weren’t bad enough on their own, now comes news Mason will have to sit out to rest a pulled groin. According to the Columbus Dispatch it isn’t considered serious, but the Blue Jackets have called up David LeNeveu, who has played just 21 NHL games (and none since 2006-07) since being drafted in the second round by the Phoenix Coyotes way back in 2002.

Reporter James Mirtle normally covers the Maple Leafs beat, but theGlobe and Mail reporter has also taken some good looks at the world of goaltending lately, starting with the recent story on Giguere’s injuries and the hip problems that plague butterfly goalies. Today, Mirtle has another good piece on goalies in the Globe breaking down the growth of NHL goaltenders over the past decade and the reasons bigger puck stoppers are so much more desirable than 10 years ago. The story cites Nashville goalie guru Mitch Korn, a regular and favourite interview here at InGoal Magazine, but you can also check out our own breakdown of this evolution by InGoal Managing Partner David Hutchison, with support quotes from Osgood, who says his friends in the scouting world can’t even look at goalies under 6-foot-1 anymore.

NHL Central Scouting released its mid-term rankings Monday, and does a pretty good job of breaking down its list of the best North American goaltenders.

Editor’s note: Special thanks to David Steadman for the image appearing in the tease for this story, and on the homepage. Be sure to check out more of his Flickr photos.

About The Author

Kevin Woodley

Kevin Woodley is a rec-league target and former contributing editor of the Goalie News magazine. He has written about the Vancouver Canucks and NHL for The Associated Press, USA Today, Sports Illustrated and The Hockey News for the last decade, and covered the 2010 Olympics for The AP.