James Reimer Makes 31 Saves; Habs Fall to Leafs

Ahnaf AhmedContributor IIIOctober 6, 2011

TORONTO, CANADA - OCTOBER 6:  James Reimer #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs gets set to face a shot in a game against the Montreal Canadiens on October 6, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Claus Andersen/Getty Images

The inaugural game of the 2011-2012 for the Canadiens could’ve been a  better one. Although Montreal dominated the game in the shot count, they fell short to the Toronto Maple Leafs by a score of 2-0.

James Remier stood on his head this game, as he made 31 saves to earn his fourth career shutout.

The Bleu Blanc et Rouge dominated the first period in the shots department with a shot count of 13  compared to four to the Leafs. The Habs did a great job provoking young goalie James Reimer in the first frame, but fell short.

The Leafs on the other hand, barely tested Price in that period and had a very hard time keeping the puck out of their zone.

The turning point came in the second period. The Canadiens played sloppy defense during their powerplay in the early seconds of the second frame, which resulted into a Leafs goal by Matthew Lombardi.  

Around the five-minute mark of the third period, Dion Phaneuf blasted a one-timer past Carey Price on an odd-man rush, a goal that demoralized the Montreal Canadiens.

The Canadiens’ powerplay looked dismal today, as they went 0/5 with an extra man and allowed a shorthanded goal. The Habs also played some sloppy defense in many cases.

The only bright spot for the tricolore was Carey Price. Although his save percentage is mediocre for this game, Price made some huge stops that kept his team alive for the game.

The good news is, it is only the first game of the year, and there are still 81 to go. The Canadiens should look to improve their powerplay and organize themselves on defense for future games.

James Reimer, on the other hand, had a fabulous night. Will he be the Leafs’ savior and carry them to their first playoff appearance since 2004?

If he consistently plays the way he did tonight, not only will the Leafs make the playoffs, but he could be a Vezina trophy candidate as well.

Leafs fans can only hope that he does not follow the same path as J.S Giguere last year: Playing great in the Leafs' first four games of the regular season before completely self-destructing.