There have been several discussions on David Reekie, and the question is usually "Is David Reekie a liability for the Stars?" There has been so much discussion, I thought I'd put a blog post out there let my feelings go on this subject.
David Reekie is a WHL veteran, and that league is usually known for being the roughest and toughest of the Canadian Hockey Leagues. I guess it should come as no surprise he's a little meaner than most goalies and pretty defensive when players get in his crease. It seems that playing the Lancers brings out the worst in Reekie. I'd guess that since it's a big rivalry, it gets heated on the ice pretty quickly, and emotions get out of control. Sure he may slash and jab at shins, but lots of goalies do. If they don't, maybe they should so that they can clear lanes to see the puck. From what I've seen of Reekie, he's just a great goalie and there were no slashes or anything if anyone got in his crease. I guess he just doesn't like Omaha :)
Reekie has racked of 45 PIM, but how many have really hurt his team? Sure it's never good for a goalie to have that many penalties, but he's a good enough goalie where he can make up for it by shutting down the opposing team's powerplay unit.
There has also been some talk about him disrespecting USA during the National Anthem by moving and twitching while the song is being sung. Now really, who cares? Goalies are probably the most superstitious players out there, and they start doing something once and pretty soon it's part of their "routine". Most players move or sway during the Anthem, so why not single them out? I can't say I've noticed him, but I guess I am too busy paying attention to the flag. I feel this reason is just a reach to try and dislike him. I have noticed many other goalies move and twitch in previous years, but in no way do I see that as disrespecting anything.
How about his hotheadedness? This kid plays with emotion and fire that I only wish more players played with. He's not afraid to let his teammates know what they did wrong and he becomes a leader that way. Some goalies are able to hold emotions in better than others, but for me personally, I think him showing his emotions and being angry when he loses shows just how competitive he is and how badly he wants to win.
Let's take a look at the stats. Prior to Reekie's arrival, Lincoln was floating near the bottom with Nick Hopper and Kevin Murdock manning the pipes. Unfortunately, Hopper didn't play as hoped, and a changed needed to be made, so it was. Reekie arrived late November/early December and has been nothing less than stellar. David has gone on to post a 20-8-3 record, propelling the Stars to 3rd place in the West and a playoff position. In 32 games played, Reekie has allowed just 60 goals for a 1.92 goals against average, and a save percentage of 93.9%. He leads the league in shutouts with 5.
Where would Lincoln be had they kept Hopper and never added Reekie? They might not even be in the playoff hunt. The Stars have played much better since they added Reekie, as they play with more confidence. The forwards are able to take more chances since they know they have someone capable of stopping the puck behind them. The first time I saw Lincoln play since the addition of Reekie, I noticed how much better they played as a team. They didn't have to worry about Hopper playing the puck and being out of position.
Perhaps the only downside could be that Kevin Murdock is getting almost no ice time. Murdock has appeared in just 4 games since Reekie arrived, starting only twice. The first start was due to a 1 game suspension Reekie was serving. In the second, Kevin nearly posted a shutout in Des Moines. Maybe with Lincoln having their playoff spot wrapped up, Murdock will get some more playing time to develop and be ready to play a bulk of Lincoln's games next season.
Bottom line, Reekie is a type of player you'd love to have on your team, but the type you hate if he's not. He's the type you like to hate, not only because of how good he is, but because of the passion he brings. If he played for Omaha, Lancer fans would love him and Lincoln fans would hate him. That's just the nature of the beast, I suppose.
So is David Reekie a liability? I think the answer for me is no, and it's quite clear at that. He keeps Lincoln in nearly every game and made them a top team in the league. I don't think Lincoln fans would trade Reekie for anyone, and I don't blame them.