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Reimer: Early Favourite for Bill Masterton Trophy?

It's a Canadian Game


blog-0276401001367347281.jpgOn Friday the Toronto Maple Leafs announced that their nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy this year is goaltender James Reimer. Reimer was given the nod after he had a very mediocre 2011-2012 season due largely impart because of a concussion he faced in the sixth game of the season when Montreal forward Brian Gionta collided into the Toronto netminder.

Reimer missed 19 games of the 2011-2012 season from what was first called whiplash symptoms, but later identified as a concussion. The injury not only removed Reimer from play, but after Reimer returned back to the ice he was never really able to get back in to the shape he was before his concussion. A start that saw the young goalie go 4-0-1 with the Leafs.

Fast forward to the 2012-2013 season and Reimer has not only been able to give the Maple Leafs solid goaltending, but has brought back the same level of play Leaf fans got a glimpse of in his first year. The same play that sparked such nicknames such as ‘Optimus-Reim’, ‘the Reiminister of Defense’, and countless others.

Reimer has not only put up great numbers, but he has been consistent all season. In 32 starts this year Reimer is tied for second in the league with four shutouts, tied for sixth place with a 0.926 save percentage, and a very respectable 2.38 goals against average.

To those who are not familiar with the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy the trophy is awarded to the player who exemplifies the most perseverance, dedication, and sportsmanship. Each of the 30 NHL teams elects one nominee from their team, where the league then decides a winner. Last year’s winner was Max Pacioretty of the Montreal Canadiens for his remarkable comeback after missing a large amount of time after taking a vicious hit by Boston Bruins 6’9 defenseman Zdeno Chara.

In many cases the trophy is awarded to players who are able to overcome adversity and in many cases devastating injuries, while remaining positive and playing at a high calibre. Fellow Maple Leaf sniper, Phil Kessel, won the award in his rookie year in 2006-07 with the Bruins after he had a tough battle with testicular cancer.

Another player who could also be a favourite to win the award is Montreal Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov. The former all-star d-man had been out of the Habs lineup for nearly two seasons.

However, because of the late start to the season, Markov was able to use the time to get healthy and return to the Habs lineup. Markov played in all of Montreal’s games this season and never looked out of place despite his long absence from the game. He was able to put up 30 points in 48 games, finishing tied for fourth most among all defensemen.

However, for now Reimer, Markov, and the rest of the nominees aren’t focusing on the award as the playoffs are set to begin on Tuesday. For Reimer he will make his first ever playoff appearance when the Leafs start their best of seven series against the Bruins on Wednesday. The game will be the first taste of playoff hockey that the Maple Leafs have had in over nine years. Winning the Bill Masterton trophy would be special for Reimer, but there is no doubt that a taste from Lord Stanley’s cup would taste a whole lot sweeter.

Follow me on Twitter @Craig_Hagerman


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Personally I think the three finalists should be: Andrei Markov, Ryan Getzlaf and maybe Crosby. Also, I think Lupul would have been a better nominee from the Leafs, IMO.

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also good nominees, but Lupul was nominated last year for his return after a bad back and almost missing out on his career. His injury this year, was more fluke and a little less serious

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