Randy Carlyle hasn’t been shy about pulling James Reimer this season. The coach lifted his goalie out of action when the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings played on December 21. Reimer allowed three goals on 12 shots, and Toronto went into the first intermission trailing 3-1.
Jonathan Bernier was in goal for Toronto at the begining of the second period, and Reimer had some carefully chosen, yet pointed words about Carlyle’s decision to pull him. As per Jonas Siegel of TSN:
I don’t know if there’s a goaltender in the league that’s happy when they get pulled. Obviously I didn’t want to get pulled. That’s the last thing I wanted. I wanted to hang in there. But that’s Randy’s decision. And I respect what he decides. I may not like it, but that’s irrelevant. He’s the one who makes those decisions.
The coach explained that he did it more for the team than because Reimer wasn’t playing up to par, but Reimer’s comments seemed to imply that he felt he was on too short of a leash.
He denied those rumors on Monday though, and spoke to Mike Zeisberger of The Toronto Sun in an attempt to clarify the supposed rift between player and coach:
We’re both competitive people. I compare it to two guys fighting in practice. Both guys care, both guys are intense, both guys want to win. And then it’s over. Look around the league. There are plenty of goalies who don’t agree with their coach all the time. I haven’t talked to Randy about it, but I think he probably liked (my reaction). I’m a competitive guy and I thought I could lead us to a win. He obviously didn’t agree. It happens. There is nothing to it.
That’s one less thing for Toronto fans to worry about then.