It’s been quiet in Leaf Nation this week as the National Hockey League took three days off to observe Christmas.
However, just before Christmas, the Toronto Maple Leafs lost 2-1 in a shoot out to the New York Rangers, but it is a little of a win for the team as Toronto scored the tying goal with under a minute to go in regulation.
A familiar problem for the Leafs this season hindered the team again in this game. Toronto had another 40 plus shot game with 43. 42 of those shots were stopped by net minder, Jonathan Bernier. “Our goal tending is one of our strongest points (this season),” said Leaf’s head coach, Randy Carlyle in the post game press conference.
Two days after Christmas, the Leafs were back in action, facing the Buffalo Sabres.,
Leaf’s captain, Dion Phaneuf received a two minute minor near the end of the third period. As a result, the Sabres tied the game 3-3.
The Leafs defeated the Sabres 4-3 in a shoot out, Toronto’s fourth shoot out in a row.
Cody Franson racked up two points during the game and Bernier made 32 saves.
Two nights later, the Leafs faced Carolina.
Bernier was terrific in net in the 5-2 Leaf win. Stopping everything in site. Bernier made a spectacular save in the first period.
In the second period, Bernier went post to post to make another great save.
Bernier was flopping all over the goal crease to keep his team from falling behind.
There is no question in my mind that Bernier is the Leaf’s best goal tender right now.
I think the team did the right thing getting Bernier in the off-season.
However, the Leafs gave up 40 shots again. 43 to be exact. Honestly, this has got to stop in order for Toronto to be successful. The team can’t rely on their net minders all the time.
Bernier made 41 saves.
Phil Keseel scored two goals and is a goal way from his 20th this season.
Tyler Bozak got three assists.
The Leaf’s next game is going to be a big event. On New Years Day, Toronto is going to face the Detroit Red Wings in Michigan on an outdoor rink. The event is called The Winter Classic.