It's not an exaggeration to say that the Toronto Maple Leafs' season rests entirely on the shoulders on James Reimer. As he came out of the woodwork in the second half of the season, fans became obsessed with the quiet spoken goalie with the exciting comparables. Most encouraging is the fact that Reimer recognizes that he has not accomplished his goals yet. He has only played his way into a position to reach those goals:
No one in professional sports want to be a one-year wonder, to get to the very top – taste that rarefied air – and crash disappointingly down, almost as quickly as they rose up.
Reimer seems to know. He dropped 20 pounds in the summer as part of a new workout regiment and believes he’s ready for the 50-plus games ahead.
"I just understood what [Burke] was trying to say to me," Reimer said. "That these things happen. You can play great, but if you don’t stay on it, it can go. You never really lose your talent, but if you don’t have hard work, your talent is useless.
"It’s a good [message]. It’s kept me from getting complacent. I feel that I’ve worked as hard as I could. I’ve surrounded myself with people that know me. Even if I subconsciously slack off, they’re there to keep pushing me. They keep me honest."