Reimer: “I should be ready to go for tomorrow”

- October 18th, 2013

Thoughts of Brian Gionta danced through James Reimer’s woozy head on Thursday night.
Nearly two years ago, the Maple Leafs goalie was run over by the Montreal Canadiens forward and took months to fully recover from head and neck issues.
When teammate Josh Leivo crashed into him on Thursday night at the 32-second mark of an eventual 3-2 loss against the Carolina Hurricanes, Reimer had visions of that night in Montreal.
“Of course,” Reimer said after practising with his teammates on Friday at the MasterCard Centre.
“Automatically, I think everyone did. I would say I have taken care of myself and try to strengthen things and had different people putting in their insight and wisdom to what I need to do to be stronger, so it is safe to say it was just protocol (that he left the game against Carolina) and hopefully we can move on.”
Reimer had a headache that mostly was gone by the time he went to bed on Thursday night. When he woke up on Friday, he felt fine.
Will he be available to back up Jonathan Bernier in Chicago on Saturday night against the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks?
“That’s the plan,” Reimer said. “With these things, you never really know. I have to judge how I feel in the morning again. The way I feel today, should be ready to go for tomorrow.”
Forward James van Riemsdyk, who has missed the past two games with back spasms, stands “a good chance” of being available, Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said.
The goaltending kerfuffle meant the Leafs had to act quickly. First, it was University of Toronto goalie Brett Willows who got the call during the game on Thursday.
On Friday, Willows’ U of T teammate, Michael Nishi, practised with the Leafs. There’s a list of a half-dozen goalies the Leafs have in case of an emergency and the two university goalies are on it.
Who had the hardest shot?
“I have to see the shots first,” Nishi said, drawing laughter. “It was an eye-opening experience.”
Is Nishi, a Toronto native who played major junior with five teams, a Leafs fan?
“It has been on and off with the Leafs,” Nishi said. “My family has season tickets. Growing up, I’ve been to a lot of games, and it was a really great experience to be practising with them.”

Categories: Hockey

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