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article imageOp-Ed: Pulling James Reimer was a great move, after all - it worked

By Marcus Hondro     Dec 23, 2013 in Sports
There was bound to be a controversy over the pulling of goalie James Reimer Saturday night in Toronto, and there is. Much of what's been written about it has been critical of coach Randy Carlyle's decision. But should it be? Was he wrong?
Carlyle said Sunday, the day following the game, that he made the decision for the other 20 guys in the room. Makes sense, no? And it's hard to argue with success. Toronto was down 3-1 and with Bernier in goal in the second, they scored twice to tie and then took a 4-3 lead in the third.
Sure the Wings pulled even late in that third and won in a shootout, 5-4, but to gain a point from a game in which it looked at the one point that they were in danger of being badly outclassed on the night, that's cause for Leaf fans to celebrate.
And Bernier, who made a couple of dazzling saves, and the team's improved play after that disastrous first period, is the reason why the Leafs nearly took two points. That's all Reimer should be thinking about. It's all fans should be thinking about.
James Reimer is a big boy. He's been a goalie a long time. Goalies know they get pulled, the season's are long all throughout hockey (even in junior, one season Reimer played in 60 games for the Red Deer Rebels of the WHL). It shouldn't be an issue.
He's held the Leafs in games this season, a big part of the success they have had. It's hardly a knock on him as a goaltender. He works hard, he's a great athlete, a great teammate. This one time he wasn't at his best, neither on the ice or in his reaction to being pulled.
From his expression on the bench to his words after the game and the following days, it's clear Reimer wasn't happy with being yanked. But all three goals (on 12 shots), while in close, were shots he might have stopped on another night. He didn't. The team needed better, and a shake-up. Reimer was pulled. And it worked.
James Reimer will get over it, the Toronto Maple Leafs will continue with two great goalies and coach Randy Carlyle was right.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about james reimer, jonathan bernier, Toronto Maple Leafs, randy carlyle, Detroit red wings
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