“Thoughts on Thoughts” is a feature that looks at Elliotte Friedman’s terrific weekly post “30 Thoughts.” Justin Bourne selects his 10 favourite tidbits, and elaborates.
Friedman’s column, March 24th: Leafs’ Reimer should follow Cammalleri’s lead
Friedman’s opening this week centered on the plight of James Reimer, and how he could use a little dose of that “eff you” that Mike Cammalleri has shown over the past few weeks. Friedman explained how Cammalleri expected to be dealt to a contender at the deadline, but nobody traded for him despite the fact that he was available. (Overpriced and underperforming, as he was.)
Since the deadline, Cammalleri has killed it, scoring nine goals and 15 points in 10 games (impressive when you consider he only has 37 points on the season). Friedman explained how he sees that run as a bit of an “eff you” to those GMs. True or not, he believes that Reimer, in a situation where the Leafs have shown no respect or trust for him, could use a dose of “eff you” attitude himself coming down the homestretch, only towards the Leafs’ brass.
I wrote something similar Monday morning about starting Reimer Tuesday night. If I may quote myself – I do agree with myself fairly often – “Reimer could very well post a classic “eff you coach” game tomorrow night and get hot, and that’s the Leafs best chance at winning six or seven of their next nine games, which they’ll likely need to do.” As in, if he starts playing for himself and changes his mindset, he could pull his mental dune-buggy out of the muddy bog.
My one addendum to Reimer’s situation is that it’s one thing to be “proving a point” on a team that overvalued you (a compliment) and kept you a la Cammalleri, and another to feel like an outsider on the inside of your own dressing room. “Eff these guys” – even if it only means the coaching staff and management – doesn’t feel very good, and isn’t something that’s a part of Reimer’s natural pet-all-the-puppies disposition.
2. Carlyle is taking heat as his team hits the iceberg, but last Wednesday’s 5-3 loss to Tampa proved the players must take greater responsibility for their own defensive mindset. There’s no coach in the world who doesn’t prepare his team for Steven Stamkos. The Lightning’s franchise player scored three times, without being bothered in the process. Toronto is fun to watch, but that game hammered home the point that this style isn’t going to work long-term. Prediction: at least one of the more offensive-minded players goes somewhere else this summer for a defensively stout replacement.
We’ll get to the prediction at the end, but first the “style” stuff: the most damning thing I can say about Randy Carlyle’s Leafs is that it looks like they’re playing shinny, which means one of four things:
1) The players aren’t listening to him. He’s put a system in place but his guys skirt it at will so it looks like a ball hockey session in gym class. Not good. Read the rest of this entry »