Jonathan Bernier’s ailments might be more serious than originally suspected. The Toronto Maple Leafs made an emergency move this morning, recalling sophomore goaltender Antoine Bibeau from the Toronto Marlies.
Bernier was originally expected to start in last night’s 4-1 win over the Dallas Stars, but ultimately ended up bowing down, as he wasn’t feeling physically up to it. “Berns got bumped in his last game and isn’t feeling good so we’re going to go with Reimer,” said Leafs head coach Mike Babcock ahead of puck drop.
Bernier stayed on the bench prepared to back Reimer up last night but wasn’t necessary as the 27-year-old Reimer put up a stunning 43-save performance. This makes it especially interesting that he’d be in a situation that would require a call up now, but that likely means that team doctors evaluated him and found something more serious than a bump or bruise.
As for Bibeau, the 21-year-old has been off to an unspectacular but solid enough start with the Marlies. In six games this year, Bibeau has posted a 5-1-0 record and a 0.908 save percentage. Bibeau so far has been the only Marlies goaltender to be trusted in consecutive games and has the bulk of Toronto’s wins. Garret Sparks was also a potential option for the recall, with a higher 0.919 save percentage, but he’s projected to start against the Hartford Wolf Pack tomorrow and has spent less time in Toronto over the past two years, which means the NHL staff likely have more familiarity with Bibeau.
It would be safe to expect that the Marlies will call up Orlando’s Rob Madore to back up Sparks for the time being.
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