Coach Ron Wilson can’t say he doesn’t have a goaltending controversy brewing, but for the time being, it’s between two stoppers and not three.
While Saturday’s winner James Reimer was on the ice with both Jonas Gustavsson and Jean-Sebastien Giguere on Sunday at the MasterCard Centre, the coach said Giguere was still a few days from returning after a groin injury and won’t play Monday against Boston. It’s going to be Thursday versus St. Louis at the earliest.
As for who does start the Boston game, it’s an interesting call.
The safest decision might be to come back with Gustavsson, who didn’t play poorly in his last start against Columbus. Reimer, who wasn’t taxed too heavily by Ottawa, is presumably going back before the big road trip to Atlanta and the West Coast, and could thus return to the Marlies on the high of a win, while Gustavsson and Giguere split the back-to-back St. Louis - Atlanta games.
Or Reimer plays again, perhaps does well and gives other clubs something else to consider when discussing trades with the Leafs.
“After watching (Reimer) in the pre-season, we knew he could play,” Wilson said Sunday.
“Jiggy is just gradually getting himself back into it and we want to take our time. I wouldn’t hesitate nor should I hesitate (using Reimer).”
Boyce has heart
Centre Darryl Boyce was asked how big of a story he thinks he is back home in Summerside, P.E.I., which is big Leafs’ country.
“I think the Journal Pioneer is blowing up right now,” Boyce laughed of the local paper. “It’s great being from a small town and a small province. I want to make them proud and I’m glad they’ve supported me all these years.”
Fifty-goal scorer Rick Vaive is among the most revered Leafs from the Island, but Boyce also beat the odds by coming to the NHL through the CIS at the University of New Brunswick. Joel Ward (PEI), Steve Rucchin (Western) and Mike Ridley (Manitoba) are other NHL grads.
“You hope to be that diamond in the rough,” said Boyce. “I was fortunate enough that the Leafs came down to the CIS and gave me a chance.
“School was a priority then and seeing beyond hockey was my only option. I was going to play my four years at UNB, staying in shape and training hard every summer, .”
Anyone getting sent to the Marlies or recalled in the next few days will have a long way to catch up to them. The AHL farm club is on a nine-game trip that began New Years Eve and won’t wrap up until Jan. 19. The team will travel 7,625 kilometres by air and bus, including two games in Abbotsford, B.C. ... One ex-Leaf that Toronto won’t get haunted by Monday is goalie Tuukka Rask (2-7-1). He had a rough outing on Saturday in Buffalo and Boston coach Claude Julien indicated he’d be working with goaltending coach Bob Essensa when the team returns home ... Winger Mike Brown is now practising almost regularly with the Leafs, but his return from a broken index finger is not known.