|Toronto Maple Leafs' James Reimer is congratulated by teammates after shutting out the Minnesota Wild. (REUTERS/Andy King)
DENVER — Reimer fever hits the Mile High City with the Maple Leafs hoping there is enough air left in the season as they face the Colorado Avalanche.
Looking for a third consecutive win, rookie goaltender James Reimer will be back in net for the Leafs, who have eight games remaining but still trail Buffalo by five points for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
If the Leafs are feeling any nerves about the latest must-win game, they certainly aren’t showing it.
“I think we’re pretty used to this now,” Toronto coach Ron Wilson said. “Since the all-star break, our focus has been 100% to the next game.
“We don’t let little things bother us. We haven’t been paying too much attention to the scoreboard. The contributions are all positive and we’re heading in the right direction.”
Reimer is coming off a shutout performance in Minnesota on Tuesday when the Leafs played an energized game in front of him to score a 3-0 win over the Wild.
With a win against the Avalanche, the Leafs can move to within three points of the idle Sabres, who return to action Friday against Florida.
Wilson rejected the notion that the team’s recent success is symptomatic of the Leafs in recent seasons where a late run comes at meaningless time. The coach wasn’t amused when the notion was suggested by a reporter.
“I don’t think it has anything to do with being in Toronto,” Wilson said. “It’s just the way that the team has been and we’re in meaningful games now so that’s all that matters.”
Defenceman Mike Komisarek (groin) and forward Darryl Boyce (upper body) are both ready to return to the lineup will be a game-time decision.
Wilson may not want to tinker with the lineup that easily handled the Wild and Bruins in their two most recent games.