|The rookie Reimer, riding a .957 save percentage afer a win and loss should return to face the Blues and depending on that result, might play the next night in Atlanta or split the games with Jonas Gustavsson. (Jack Boland /QMI AGENCY)
TORONTO - The debate regarding who should start Thursday’s game in goal against St. Louis and whether James Reimer will accompany the team on the west coast road trip became a moot point on Wednesday.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere said he would take a few more days to strengthen a groin injury and might not play until the middle of the trip, if at all. The rookie Reimer, riding a .957 save percentage afer a win and loss should return to face the Blues and depending on that result, might play the next night in Atlanta or split the games with Jonas Gustavsson.
Coach Ron Wilson had thought Giguere would be ready by these back-to-back contests, which would have negated the need for a third goalie to travel. But Giguere won’t even get the okay for any action until seeing a Leafs doctor on Thursday morning.
“Right now, I feel like I could go,” Giguere said after he was the last of the three stoppers off the ice at practice. “But maybe it’s a decision to wait another week and make it more stronger. We have another three months of the season after that. I want to be part of the team the next three months, not back to the same position. It’s very frustrating, aggravating. I want to help the team get some points.”
Giguere’s original groin issue, now being called a slight muscle tear, has hampered him twice this season. Thus, Wilson wants the veteran “at 110%” before he relies on him for extended action.
The injury news was worse for centre John Mitchell, who was hit awkwardly in practice a few days ago has now been diagnosed with an MCL “tweak” according to Wilson, keeping him out four to six weeks.
Meanwhile, winger Mike Brown, who is making steady progress from a broken index finger, still can’t shoot well enough to play until at least the San Jose game on Tuesday, which means a call-up will be made to the AHL Marlies for insurance purposes at forward before the trip starts.
Defenceman Carlo Colaiacovo and winger Alex Steen will be playing their first game in Toronto since the 2008 trade for Lee Stempniak. While the Blues are in a playoff position and have won four of the past five, Toronto is still having problems putting any kind of streak together.