Coming into this season, James Reimer was thought to be the Leaf’s best chance at ending their post-season drought. The fans had affectionately named him Optimus Reim, reasoning that his performance had ‘transformed’ the blue and white into a far better hockey club. On top of that, he seems to have a natural and contagious sense of optimism about him – always smiling, and always positive.
That all changed when Brian Gionta leapt across Reimer’s crease and elbowed him in the head, causing him to suffer from whiplash-like symptoms for six-eight weeks. The real damage though, was to Reimer’s confidence. Having lost the reigns of the team to Jonas Gustavsson, and struggling to return to game-shape in the wake of what may or may not have been a concussion, Leaf fans began to get fed up with Reimer’s “aw gee shucks” demeanor and ability to brush aside losses. Read the rest of this entry »