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Reimer aims to bounce back Add to ...

James Reimer's numbers have been sliding back to earth, if only slightly, over the past few weeks.

After allowing five goals in 40 minutes in a 5-3 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday, the Toronto Maple Leafs netminder is down to a 12-5-3 record, 2.45 goals-against average and .924 save percentage.

Those statistics are hardly cause for alarm, however, and Reimer will make his 11th straight start tomorrow against the New York Islanders.

"He played so well in the Philadelphia game," coach Ron Wilson said today after practice. "Every once in a while you're going to have a game where you're a little off and he was in the first 10 minutes of the game the other night. He'll bounce back."

Reimer said he tried not to dwell too long on his performance Saturday.

"That night, I went home and I PVR'd the game and so I watched it a little bit and went over the goals and the saves," he said. "Saw what I could have done or what bounces happened. If I could have done anything. And just tried to forget about it.

"Obviously it sucks to lose at home, it sucks to get pulled at home, it's the worst case scenario, but you've just got to forget about it ... Starting to think about tomorrow morning, working hard there, and getting ready for tomorrow evening."

Reimer has played well following his first four regulation losses this season, posting a 3-1-0 record, 2.03 GAA and .941 save percentage. He doesn't have a huge body of work to consider in that department, however, and has played a ton of hockey between the Leafs and Marlies the past two months.

Between both leagues, Reimer's played 37 games already this season and will pickup as many as 15 more starts to close the year, meaning he'll play more games in a single season than he ever has as a pro. Again, the sample size is small, but Reimer's numbers this season are far, far better when he has two or three days rest between games, a luxury he may not have that often.

He said today he's ready for that challenge.

"The biggest thing you can get from playing is experience," Reimer said. "Whether you lose 10-0 or win 1-0, you get experience. You face different situations. A 5-1 loss, at the point I got pulled, is in hindsight, almost just as valuable as a win.

"You learn a lot about yourself, you learn a lot about your play and what you can do better so it doesn't happen again."

Notebook

- The Leafs power play has been fairly awful lately, which shouldn't come as a big surprise given it wasn't terrific with Tomas Kaberle still on the team. Wilson worked with the units again today in practice: "We've got to establish early on our power play some shots from the point and we're not doing that right now. If we can do that, it opens up the rest of the rink."

- Wilson on facing the Islanders, who have played well recently with a 10-5-3 run since the all-star break: "We're going to have to be on our toes. They're loosey goosey right now. The games don't have the same meaning probably to the Islanders that they do to us so pressure's on us. But we've handled that pretty well so far."

- Clarke MacArthur took a puck off the foot in practice and looked to be in some pain. We didn't get a chance to speak with him after practice, but Wilson said he would be fine to play tomorrow.

 

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