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At the Rink blog

Gustavsson to fill in until Reimer returns Thursday

Monday, 10.24.2011 / 2:21 PM

By Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor / At the Rink blog

PHILADELPHIA -- Toronto Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer won't play tonight, but coach Ron Wilson expects to have his starting netminder back in time for the Leafs' next game, Thursday at the New York Rangers.

Reimer left Saturday's game with a neck injury after a collision with the Canadiens' Brian Gionta.

"He seems almost 100-percent today," Wilson said following the team's morning skate. "It gives us an opportunity on an emergency basis to bring up Ben Scrivens. The Monster (Jonas Gustavsson) will get the start and we should be fine. James should be fine by Thursday the way it looks right now."

Gustavsson's numbers don't look very impressive -- he's 1-1-0 with a 5.35 goals-against average and .852 save percentage -- but Wilson said those numbers don't tell the whole story.

Gustavsson started last Thursday in Boston and allowed six goals on 43 shots. He was far better Saturday against Montreal, when he relieved an injured Reimer and stopped 15 of 18 shots in 41:23 of work as the Leafs won 5-4 in overtime.

"Both situations have been very difficult, any goalie will tell you that," said Wilson. "We knew we were going in to a hornet's nest in Boston, but that was our plan. He was helpless there in the sense that we didn't support him at all. Lot of point-blanks saves and shots and they had traffic in front of the net and we didn't do a good job of clearing it. And the other night, again, you're in a hornet's nest with a very desperate team. To go in cold like he did, his first shot went in, but I thought he did a pretty good job when you look back at some of the saves he made when we needed him late in the game and late in the second period. They're saves that you remember as a coach but get overlooked by everybody. He found a way to win the game, that's most important thing."

Gustavsson said he sees tonight's game as a chance to continue to impress upon his coach and teammates that he can do the job when called upon.

"You want to prove that you're comfortable, that they can play the same way, they don't have to change the whole system because of Reimer being out," he said. "Of course I want to do that. Good teams count on everybody. That means I count on them and they can count on me."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

Once again, it shows character in this dressing room. Once again, there's no quitting in here. We all wanted this so bad and we worked so hard to get home-ice advantage and we weren't going to let this one slide.

— Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog on his team's OT Game 1 win vs. Minnesota Wild