“Look good, feel good, play good.”
~ Carolina Hurricanes equipment manager Jorge Alves.
The most amazing part of James Reimer’s Hartford Whalers set up on Saturday wasn’t how good it looked. No, the most amazing part is it wasn’t a custom set made just for the occasion.
It was actually the same red-and-white set up that Reimer had worn on the bench as the backup for the Carolina Hurricanes in a game on Friday, which meant that Hurricanes equipment manager Jorge Alves had less than 24 hours to personally transform it into Whalers colors.
“I wanted to make sure he looked great for tonight’s game,” Alves wrote in a text message to InGoal after the game. “So I started wrapping as soon as the game ended [Friday] night.”
Alves, who was an awesome guest on the InGoal Radio Podcast this week, also shared some behind-the-scenes photos of that process, which are sprinkled into this story below.
Alves started by wrapping Reimer’s new Bauer UltraSonic pads and gloves with PadWrap:
Next up was the mask, for which Alves used PadSkinz:
Note the Autobot sticker on the chin, which is perfect for a goaltender long known as Optimus Reims, a “Transformers” theme he’s adopted on every mask since and one that perfectly suits this “transformation” from Carolina Hurricanes goalie to Hartford Whalers throwback.
Reimer used a green shell over his Carolina pants, but it wasn’t done there. Alves added some Whalers blue trim over top of the red lettering on Reimer’s Bauer stick as well:
We’d expect nothing short of this level of effort and brilliance from Alves, a goaltender himself who fills in at practice for the Canes and appeared for the final 7.6 seconds of a Dec. 31, 2016 game as an EBUG wearing a mask he painted himself.
As for looking good, feeling good and playing good, Alves was right. The photos speak for themselves and Reimer made 41 saves in a 2-0 shutout win over the Los Angeles Kings.