A pre-season loss hurts but James Reimer happily will take the work. Reimer performed as though he was in mid-season form on Tuesday night stopping 34 shots in a 3-2 loss against the before 19176 fans at the Air Canada Centre. “I was the starter here last year and I had no intention of giving it up whether they brought in (Jonathan) Bernier or (Henrik) Lundqvist or someone who had never played an NHL game before” Reimer said. “More importantly than the competition it’s to give the guys a chance to win hockey games. The battle is there and we are both fighting for the same thing but that is secondary to what we really want (which is to win).” Reimer was sharp making a pad save on Mark Stone and another difficult stop on Stephane Da Costa. On several occasions Reimer moved across the crease effortlessly to end a Senators scoring chance. If the regular season started today Reimer said he would be ready. “I felt pretty good” Reimer said. “You like to win and maybe as a team you would like to play a little better but for me personally when you get that work — it is not really about stats in the pre-season — it is about work and there is nothing that gets you more ready than facing some chances.” The Leafs fell to 4-1-1 and will finish the pre-season with a home-and-home set with the Detroit Red Wings on Friday and Saturday. Reimer and Bernier will get one more start each. POINT SHOTS James van Riemsdyk’s goal which gave Toronto a 1-0 lead at 2:48 of the second period was vintage van Riemsdyk if that word can be used to describe someone who is 24 years old. In about a foot of space to work with van Riemsdyk took a pass from Tyler Bozak and went to his forehand roofing a shot over the left shoulder of Senators goalie Robin Lehner as Senators defenceman Michael Sdao watched. David Clarkson suspended but not really assisted as well ... Zack Smith tied the game less than three minutes later after Paul Ranger got caught at the Toronto blue line. Smith ate up a loose puck and beat Reimer between the legs ... The Senators got goals from Jim O’Brien and Colin Greening less than two minutes apart in the third period but Dion Phaneuf pulled one back when he converted a pass from Joffrey Lupul on a 2-on-1 ... The Leafs managed to go more than 13 minutes without a shot on goal during the first period with Clarkson ending the dry spell with a rising wrist shot that Lehner caught ... Joe Colborne was lucky when Andre Petersson shot over the net after Colborne handed him the puck inside the Leafs blue line ... If the Leafs decide to keep Morgan Rielly there’s a good chance we saw the club’s top six defencemen for opening night in Montreal on Oct. 1. Captain Dion Phaneuf was with Carl Gunnarsson Jake Gardiner was paired with Mark Fraser and Rielly played alongside Ranger. Of course it would help if general manager David Nonis could figure out what to do with John-Michael Liles’ contract. We’re still of the opinion Rielly should head back to junior with Moose Jaw where he can play upward of 30 minutes a game and eventually have a prominent role with Canada at the world junior in Sweden. With the cap crunch as part of the Clarkson suspension fallout it might be harder to keep Rielly ... Nazem Kadri thought he was in alone during one shift until former Leaf Clarke MacArthur slapped the puck away ... Rielly luckily escaped with only a grimace when he blocked a shot by Patrick Wiercioch with his upper body.
Reimer looks in mid-season form, but Leafs lose to Senators 3-2
Toronto Sun | Sep 25