Leafs Postgame: How About That Goaltending

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Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

When it was announced that James Reimer would be sitting out tonight’s date with the Washington Capitals due to injury, Leafs head coach Mike Babcock stressed how big of an opportunity this was for beleaguered backup Jonathan Bernier to play his way back into contention for more starts.

I’m sure this isn’t what Bernier (or Babcock) had in mind.

Four different Capitals would beat Bernier in fashions ranging from ugly to hilarious, and at the other end of the ice Braden Holtby would stand tall enough to secure the 4-2 win. Peter Holland and Leo Komarov picked up the markers for the Leafs.

Why The Leafs Lost

In a word… Bernier, as harsh as it sounds. It’s impossible to lay all of the blame at Bernier’s feet this evening – the Morgan Rielly giveaway in the slot was a tough save to make and the Alex Ovechkin double-deflection was just impossible – but that doesn’t make up for the rest of the game. 

Bernier looked uncomfortable all game, giving up all four goals on the 15 shots he faced through the first 40 minutes of play. In fact, I’m surprised that Garret Sparks didn’t make his NHL debut tonight. Bernier would finish the game with just 19 saves on 23 shots and a .826 SV%, and with numbers like that you have to imagine that Reimer will be ridden pretty hard as soon as he’s healthy enough to return.

The Numbers Game

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The Leafs actually had themselves a pretty strong game, carrying the play for the opening half of the game before tailing off after falling behind by two goals. The fourth line, consisting of Peter Holland, Byron Froese and Brad Boyes, were by far Toronto’s largest pushers of play. On the other hand, the Nick Spaling-Joffrey Lupul-Michael Grabner line had a hell of a time containing Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. They got buried.

Some Highlights For You

Hopefully these will make you feel a little bit better.



Blue Warrior

Captain Dion Phaneuf had himself a pretty good night despite the loss. With just under 21 minutes of ice time, Phaneuf lead the Leafs with seven shots on net – two of which turned into goals off rebounds. That’s two more assists for your fearless leader, who has two goals and 12 assists in 22 games played. Phaneuf sure is benefiting from better deployment.

Monday! Monday! Monday!

The Leafs will be back in action on Monday evening when they host the powerhouse Edmonton Oilers… Wait, what? They’re not good yet? But all of those first overall picks! What is going on? Are you kidding me?

Tune into Sportsnet at 7:30pm. See ya then!

    • jimithy

      I wonder how long we have to watch the Laffs always besmirch the Leafs. When will Babcock realize he will accomplish nothing until Andy Frost leaves. Such silly men are in charge of our satisfaction. Why are they so silly?

  • TGT23

    Not a good game for Bernier. Two goals weren’t his fault but that doesn’t mean he looked good, either.

    Part of that is surely rust. Hasn’t played in forever. The other part is confidence, which is likely shot. And, as is customary with Bernier, I wonder how healthy he is.

  • TGT23

    enough is enough. you’re being paid $8.3 million and you let in 2 goals on the first 5 shots. this organization has given this guy the starting job on a silver platter and expects to be the #1 yet he plays like a #4. should have signed him for 1 year as he has the 3rd worst save % in the entire league and he’s the most expensive bad goalie… he has no wins in his last 16 games. unbelievable. #FREESPARKS until reimer is ready to reclaim the #1 job.

  • TGT23

    Well it has to be said. Bernier sucks. Him and Bozak are terrible. I can’t decide who is worse.

    This is the only time the mainstream media is behind Reimer and bashing away on Bernier. And I’m 100% behind the Bernier hate train.

  • Gary Empey

    Looked like Babcock had them working on their passing on the days off. It looked sharp. There is no point in calling Benier names. Leafs should have send him to the Marlies for a couple of weeks of conditioning after he was injured. His confidence appears shot.

  • CMpuck

    Funny how what is happening to Bernier was all Reimer when they brought Bernier in…….

    say what you want about Reims he was never this bad and now it’s Bernier’s time to feel the wrath of this whole organization fans included….Know what it’s like to go through what Reims had too from the day he got here….

    I said it when Berni came and I will say it again…it was a mistake!!! Bernier has not lived up to anything and has had 2+ seasons to do so…he’s getting twice the money as Reims(who should be making that money as he’s earning it…cheap starting Goalie right now)and needs to wake up and get out of this slump and be a man not a boy……

    \funny how what goes around comes around it’s like watching Reims all over again….I said Bernier will be eaten alive when he stumbles and boy it feel good to be right…..

    SORRY TGT23 I know Bernier is your guy,,,But good or bad Reims is the better Goalie and mentally more able to handle Toronto….

    • TGT23

      So… Bernier being better for two straight seasons is nullified because Reimer had a good half month and then got hurt?

      Seriously?

      That’s what you’re going with?

      I love how you think two or three good weeks, so long as it’s Reimer having them, is definitive proof.

      Sorry Reimerfan, but he needs to stay healthy and be good for longer than a couple weeks to earn anything.

      He hasn’t shown me anything that makes me think he’s a starting goalie. He hasn’t earned it. He has two terrible seasons to make up for.

      And that takes longer than half a month to do.