James Reimer wants to be clear: he's not stalking Henrik Lundqvist.
"I'll kind of take note of some of the games he plays, because I do think he's one of the best and you can always learn from the best," the Toronto Maple Leafs goalie said. "I do keep a little closer eye on him then other goalies, but it's not like I'm creeping or anything.
"I'm not stalking him that's for sure."
Reimer's admiration for the reigning Vezina Trophy winner is no secret. Last season, when he was out with a concussion, Reimer studied other goalies to pick up what they may be doing well and it was the New York Rangers starter who stood out.
"The one thing with Lundqvist, which I really respect, is his compete and his work ethic and he's one of the best goalies not by accident," said Reimer. "If you watch him in practice and you watch him whenever he's on the ice he works hard and works well at his game. Some guys have a natural talent and, you know, because they have so much talent maybe they don't work as hard, but with Lundqvist he's an honest hockey player, an honest goaltender. He's deserves all the accolades."
Reimer is hoping to earn some accolades this spring as he prepares for his first taste of the NHL playoffs. The only notable post-season experience earlier in his career was an ECHL championship in 2009 and a first-round exit in the 2007 WHL playoffs. (LINK: http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=419673)
Lundqvist was asked what he recalls from his first experience playing in the playoffs as a professional in Sweden.
"As a young kid back then, I think the key is just to try to focus on the right things and focus on the things you can control, but it's fun. As long as you see it as a great challenge [the increase in] pressure and excitement is just going to help you."
Lundqvist broke into a huge grin when informed of Reimer's respect for him. The two met for the first time during the summer at a Bauer event.
"He's a great guy. I liked him a lot," said Lundqvist. "He's a great goalie and he always battles hard so I definitely have to match that. He's having a good year, but, again, I think he's a great guy and a great goalie."
"It was good," said Reimer. "He's a great guy, a nice guy and, yeah, there's nothing bad you can say about him."