Leafs will ride Reimer

ROB LONGLEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:57 PM ET

TORONTO - In Reimer they trust.

Healthy and his head clear, rookie Maple Leafs goaltender James Reimer was back at practice Tuesday at the MasterCard Centre. And not only did he get a clean bill of health after a frightening blow to the ’noggin Sunday in Atlanta, he got the endorsement of his coach as the go-to goalie for the remainder of the team’s playoff push.

“Reims looks like he’s okay and all things being equal, it’s going to be his ball the rest of the way as long as we stay in the race,” Leafs coach Ron Wilson said. “And I think he’s up to it.”

Late Sunday evening, that didn’t appear to be the case.

Reimer had left the game in the second period after getting clocked in the head by Atlanta forward Evander Kane. With a splitting headache and a stiff neck, Reimer tried to play through it before pulling himself later in the period.

After getting checked out by the team’s medical staff and getting some treatment on Monday, Reimer learned he had suffered nothing worse than a minor case of whiplash and had little more than a stiff neck.

“It’s just scary,” Reimer said after Tuesday’s practice. “You don’t want to take that next blow to your head because that can be the bad one.

“You also want to stay in there but you don’t want to risk yourself and your team if you are not feeling your best. After a while the symptoms weren’t going away, I thought I should take myself out.”

You know what happened next.

After some solid play which helped the Leafs to a 2-0 lead, J-S Giguere came on in and relief. While the veteran wasn’t awful, the Leafs fell 3-2 in overtime and squandered a valuable point.

The team recalled Jonas Gustavsson from the Marlies on Tuesday giving them three goalies for the time being. Wilson said that Giguere will be Reimer’s backup, starting with Wednesday’s game against the Penguins.


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