I wore my Optimus Reim shirt today. You can get yours here. Optimus Reim, a.k.a. James Reimer, gets the start tonight in preseason play. He's a rather important part of the Maple Leafs' 2011/2012 hopes and dreams.
When I look at last year's team, a team that finished 22nd out of 30 teams, and compare it to this year's team, I don't see a monumental improvement. Sure, we're a little better, but the difference is marginal. We've added no superstars, no blue chippers... it's mostly more of the same with one giant X factor.
That X factor is James Reimer, a 23-year old kid from Manitoba who has played a mere 2080 minutes of NHL hockey. James Reimer didn't make his first NHL start until January 1, 2011, but already he carries the weight of our team's season on his shoulders. If James Reimer stays healthy and plays this upcoming season the way he played last season, the Leafs will be a much better hockey team and playoff bound.
Got that? It's pretty much the same team and will likely finish 10th or so in the conference unless Optimus Reim is the player we hope he is. Then, it's 6th, 7th or 8th!
Go Leafs Go! I see there's only 13 days, 4 hours, 58 minutes, and 44 seconds left until the opener.