February 26, 2011
Time for Giguere?
By STEVE BUFFERY, QMI Agency
TORONTO - Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson said this week that he’s going to ride rookie goaltender James Reimer as long as he’s hot. Reimer that is.
Well, maybe it’s time to dust off good ol’ Jean-Sebastien Giguere for Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Thrashers.
Not that Reimer played poorly in Saturday’s 6-5 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins; in fact he played great in the second half, but the game did mark the second in a row in which Reimer gave up four or more goals. He was the winning goaler as the Leafs downed the Montreal Canadiens 5-4 on Thursday night. Against the Penguins, Reimer gave up five goals on 40 shots. Reimer has started the last six games for the Leafs and perhaps the 22-year-old is getting a little tired. Wilson said earlier that he would go with Reimer for both games this weekend.
The friendly greek
Joffrey Lupul had a goal called back in the second period and was angrier than a Nick Kypreos tweet. To elaborate ... Rogers Sportsnet hockey insider Kypreos expressed his rage via twitter this weekend after a rival hockey insider dismissed an earlier Kypreos tweet which reported that Bryan McCabe was close to being sent to the New York Rangers.
“I’m confident it will get done,” Kypreos then tweeted. “Those f---ers at TSN try to discredit me all the time. I’m really pissed ...”
Kypreos apparently killed the angry tweet quickly, but not quick enough. He later tweeted that he was sorry.
“Opps!!!!! Was I thinking out loud again? My apologies to all ... I meant to say how much fun and stress-free this trade deadline day is.”
But Kypreos had the last laugh. McCabe was traded.
Still, Kypreos’ twitter was almost as shocking as when Leafs GM Brian Burke ranted earlier this season that Leafs fans shouldn’t boo Dion Phaneuf ... because of all he’s done for the organization.
I can only guess that Phaneuf has bought a lot of MLSE stock or works part-time selling condos at Maple Leaf Square.
In a similar vein, I just received news from Statistic Canada that “hockey insider” has officially passed lumberjack and miner on the list of most popular occupations in Canada, right behind consultant and translator.
Schenn's good things
The Leafs all-star representative was Phil Kessel, who has certainly playing like an all-star the last few games.
But it should have been Luke Schenn.
The problem is, the third-year Leafs defenceman doesn’t get a lot of points and his play isn’t flashy, but he’s quietly having an outstanding season at the age of 21. On a team without a superstar, this guy has been the real deal, the real all-star.
Schenn leads all NHL defenceman in hits (194) and is second on the team in blocked shots (130). On top of that, he has does a terrific job passing out of his zone and is incredibly cool under pressure in the Leafs end — parts of the game that aren’t sexy but valuable.
His play against the depleted Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night was typical of his season — some huge hits early, led the game in blocked shots and was a steady presence in front of the goalie.
Wild stuff at ACC
This psychedelic stat from Psychedelic Sunday host Andy Frost: It was Paul Henderson night at the ACC on Saturday night (sort of). Henderson, who dropped the puck for the opening faceoff, wore No.19 for Team Canada in the 1972 Summit Series and scored the winning goal in Game 8 against the Soviets. Anyway, in the first period of Saturday’s Leafs-Penguins game, No.19 Joffrey Lupul opened the scoring for Toronto and No.72 Alex Kovalev tied it for Pittsburgh. Freaky. And speaking of which, Kovalev’s goal was his 72nd point against the Leafs .... Just wondering, is Ben Lovejoy’s nickname The Reverend?