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Reimer gets the start for Leafs against Panthers

Feb 28, 2012, 4:33 PM EDT

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James Reimer

Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer needs a better start tonight versus Florida than he provided Saturday when it took just 3:46 for the Capitals to score two goals, both of which were “stoppable” according to his coach.

In fact, Reimer needs to be better from now until the end of the season. And if Luke Schenn could knock it off with the horrendous giveaways, that would help, too.

Despite Toronto’s issues between the pipes, general manager Brian Burke didn’t acquire a netminder at the deadline. And even after Ron Wilson’s frank assessment following the Washington game, the coach is going with Reimer over Jonas Gustavsson against the Panthers.

“I’m going to try and get Reims going here. He’s knows his playing,” Wilson said this morning. “All these rumors over the last couple of weeks have shown that they were nothing but rumors so all of our team I think will get a weight off their shoulders and just start moving forward.”

Granted, we’re not sure if Wilson can call them “rumors” when it was Burke himself who said he’d be on the lookout for a goaltender.

At any rate, Toronto and Florida are among the teams battling for the final playoff spots in the Eastern Conference, but it’s the home side – with just one win in its last nine – that should be in desperation mode at the ACC. An outright loss combined with a Washington win over the Isles would put the Leafs four points back of a playoff spot, with time running out.

On the bright side, no more “millstone” around their necks.

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