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Reimer To Start Against Penguins

by Matt Iaboni / Toronto Maple Leafs

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VIDEO: Wilson | Reimer | MacArthur | Lupul
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With the trade deadline come and gone, the Leafs took to the ice Tuesday as they prepared for another key stretch of games this week. The Leafs play the first of three in four when they start a back-to-back Wednesday against Pittsburgh and on the road Thursday in Philadelphia. Saturday, they host the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks.

James Reimer was on the ice and took part in full practice as he is fully recovered from the whiplash that he suffered Sunday in Atlanta. Fellow netminders J.S. Giguere and Jonas Gustavsson were also on the ice.

Reimer admitted that it wasn’t a great feeling and the symptoms were quite similar to a concussion.

“My head whipped back a little bit and I had some headaches and pressure in the head and we were waiting through the period to see if it would go away so I came out for precautionary (reasons).”

Reimer is good to go tomorrow against the Penguins and head coach Ron Wilson plans on playing the youngster down the stretch.

“Reims looks fine to play and probably all things being equal it will be his ball the rest of the way as long as we stay in the race and I think he is up to it,” Wilson said.

The Leafs will have three goalies up for the rest of the season and it is something that Wilson knows he will have to juggle.

“I think Jiggy (Giguere) is healthy and capable of backing up and if you need someone to go in in any situation, usually experience trumps. Jiggy will probably be backing up tomorrow and go from there,” Wilson said.

Since Monday was an off-day for the Leafs, it was the first chance to speak with sniper Phil Kessel about being named the NHL’s First Star Of The Week. Kessel was brilliant last week notching eight points in four games and helping the Leafs pick up six of a possible eight points.

“Obviously Bozie (Tyler Bozak) and (Joffrey) Lupul have made it easy on me so far,” Kessel said. “They are playing great and we are getting chances to score.”

With the addition of Lupul to the Kessel line, in nine games, Kessel has recorded 12 points.  Although they are similar players, Lupul has brought much needed size to the line.

“Lupul helps out a little bit in terms of having a big body and he has helped out on the power play as he is a big body that is willing to go to the front of the net ,” Wilson said.

There was quite the buzz on Twitter during Monday’s trade deadline that Lupul had been traded to the New York Islanders. It was a hoax that didn’t impress the Leafs forward.

“Someone was playing a joke on me that was kind of funny but kind of mean,” Lupul said. “Burkie (Brian Burke)saw it before I did and he texted me and said you’re not traded and that someone started a big rumour.  It was pretty funny but I will plot my revenge somehow. “

The Leafs enter play on Tuesday four points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. There are three games that will directly impact the Leafs in the standings tonight.

The Rangers host the Sabres, Florida is on the road in Carolina and Montreal faces Atlanta. It is a fun time for hockey fans. The Leafs will be rooting on the Rangers, Panthers and Canadiens.

If you live in Canada, you can watch the Sabres vs. Rangers game tonight on TSN2 at 7 p.m.
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