So a Monster and a Minister walk into a bar ... and come out smiling.

Where some NHL teams have had to keep their goaltenders separated in the dressing room and even trade one to keep the peace, Jonas (the Monster) Gustavsson and James (Reim Minister of Defence) Reimer have learned to co-exist in their battle to be the No. 1 on the Maple Leafs.

It helps that each are in the formative stage of their career, instead of two gnarled veterans used to having things their own way. A few years ago, the Red Wings loaded up with Curtis Joseph and Dominik Hasek, who barely spoke. Manny Legace, then a third stringer, was moved to the dressing stall between them where teammates promptly nicknamed him "Jimmy Buffet".

The Leafs have had their own awkward moments with competing goalies, back when youngsters Allan Bester and Ken Wregget got on each other's nerves and when Joseph was signed as a free agent before the club could trade Felix Potvin. But with Gustavsson and Reimer still relatively new to the NHL and with the green Leafs trying to end a six-year playoff drought, there is no room for big egos.

On Wednesday, after watching Gustavsson play all but one game in January, Reimer stepped back in and had a 25-save shutout of the Penguins. Gustavsson was one of the first in line to congratulate him.

"There's a good relationship there, that's for sure," Reimer said Thursday at the MasterCard Centre. "I don't know if we're tight, but we get along.

"Obviously we both want to play, but we're sane human beings, who realize there is more to the game.

"There are occasions when we go out to dinner with a whole group of guys. He's a funny guy, a cool guy to hang out with."

Gustavsson has been quick to credit Reimer in the past for his endorsements when it seemed he was a forgotten man. After Reimer won the hearts of Leaf Nation last spring and then Ben Scrivens looked as though he might win the back-up job earlier in the season, Gustavsson must have been at low ebb.