James Reimer’s latest injury got him waxing nostalgic.
On Tuesday night, Reimer got hurt in the first period versus Vegas.
“It just got stretched out a little far, I think,” San Jose Sharks head coach Bob Boughner. “Just got too sore to stay in.”
Boughner classified Reimer’s lower-body injury as week to week.
Reimer didn’t specify the exact play when he got hurt. But it was a familiar feeling.
“I’ve had something similar before in my career and it felt similar to that,” he reported. “So I wasn’t too worried that it was going to be something like super long-term.”
When pressed, Reimer said that injury was about four years ago. Per TSN, in Feb. 2018, Reimer missed five games because of a groin injury. This isn’t definitive, of course: Reimer also had other injuries around that time.
Tuesday in Vegas proved to be unlucky No. 13 for Reimer. It was his 13th straight start, just the third time in his career that the 33-year-old has started 10 or more straight games.
But Boughner defended the decision to keep riding James Reimer recently. With Adin Hill out, his alternative was the very inexperienced Zach Sawchenko.
“You’re a team that’s fighting for your lives and Reimer has played pretty well all season. You want to go with your No. 1 option, your best option, give yourself the best chance possible,” Boughner offered.
The San Jose Sharks had the last wild card playoff spot in the West on Jan. 22 when Reimer began his starting streak.
The only thing that gave Boughner pause was playing Reimer in back-to-back games, on Jan. 30 and Feb. 1 in Florida then Carolina, and on and Feb. 26 and 27 versus Boston then Seattle.
“I was very wary of putting him in those back-to-back situations,” the bench boss acknowledged. “But Reims reacted well to both, and he had a few days off after that before we went to Vegas.”
For what it’s worth, Reimer stopped 129 of 138 shots in those pair of back-to-backs.
It’s also worth noting: These 13 straight starts were divided by a 12-day All-Star break. This wasn’t a steady diet of games — it was 13 games over 39 days.
Boughner did acknowledge that fatigue could’ve played a part in Reimer’s injury, but the netminder wasn’t having it.
“Whenever you’re playing in this sport, there’s always going to be factors that stretch your body, right?” Reimer offered. “This whole run, it’s funny — maybe that isn’t the right word — but the game against Vegas, that might be the best, or randomly the most energy I’ve had, the best my body’s felt. And that’s the game where it decides to not work.
“You can look into things whichever way you want, but I know I felt really good going into that game.”
Whatever happened in Vegas, it sounds like Reimer won’t return until he feels good.
The veteran recalled: “A bunch of years ago, I had a similar thing and came back too soon. First game back, I got hurt and was out for six weeks.
“No one looks good in that case. You gotta be smart, make sure you’re ready, ready to go 100 percent.”
So what does week to week mean to James Reimer? He wasn’t showing any obvious injury in his media availability this afternoon.
“Is there a chance it’ll be shorter? Potentially. A chance it’ll be longer? Potentially,” he said. “Hopefully, shorter rather than longer.”
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