December 17 2015 06:37PM
Leafs fans have been more than happy to give Garret Sparks as much ice time as he wants until he proves undeserving, and after Jonathan Bernier's less-than-stellar last start, Mike Babcock was more than happy to give him a shot. In a twist of fate that screams "typical Toronto", however, the 22-year-old left tonight's game against the San Jose Sharks with a lower body injury.
December 17 2015 12:39PM
Tonight, the Columbus Blue Jackets face off against the Arizona Coyotes at the Gila River Arena in Glendale. Savvy readers may have picked up on the fact that this is a Leafs pregame post on a Leafs-centric website and that neither of these teams are the Toronto Maple Leafs. That said, even savvier readers might recognize that the Blue Jackets-Coyotes matchup has big implications on the Blue and White.
See, if Columbus wins (Haha, I know! But stick with me!) and Toronto loses, the Blue Jackets will leapfrog the Leafs in the standings. And you know what that means... 30th overall, baby! Can't get any lower than that! Tank! Tank! Tank!
December 17 2015 08:29AM
The Jonathan Bernier story this season doesn't appear to be going away. We're over a third of the way through the season and he doesn't have a win. He's been passed on the depth chart by both Reimer and Sparks, he's had an AHL conditioning stint, he's been called out by his coach, and we're at the point where there's significant indifference to placing him on waivers, largely because there's a belief he won't be claimed.
Enter The Calgary Flames. Sportsnet, has speculated the Flames are one of a few teams that believe that Bernier just needs a chance of scenery (for what's worth, I agree). And with Brian Burke and Brad Treliving watching the Leafs play Tampa this week, there may be something to this.
December 16 2015 08:32PM
Antoine Bibeau needed to have himself a great game tonight. Not because the staff was going to put pressure on him, not because the players needed his support, but for his own confidence. Bibeau looked pretty solid in his appearance that slotted in between Jonathan Bernier's shutout streak but really needed a second good showing. Tonight, he got that; at least for the first 58 minutes against the Binghamton Senators.
December 16 2015 12:14PM
It's the logical move to make. Mike Babcock today confirmed what most had already expected: that Garret Sparks, not Jonathan Bernier, would get the start in goal for the Leafs tomorrow when they host the San Jose Sharks at Air Canada Center.
Bernier, of course, has had a rough go of it this year. He's fresh off of a conditioning stint with the Toronto Marlies where he put up 3 shutouts in 4 games played, but his final start with the team saw him allow 5 goals in an overtime loss. While the hope was that Bernier would put that last start behind him and build off of what he did in his first three games for the Marlies, it didn't come to fruition last night against Tampa Bay, where Bernier allowed 5 goals on 27 shots in an overtime loss to the Bolts.