Jonathan Bernier sat calm and cool much like he had stood in his crease for each of the 36 shots he had faced from a Predators team that really shouldn’t be able to get that many.

He had just completed his first shutout as a Maple Leaf and seventh in a career that has had just 65 NHL starts.

So sitting in the visitors’ dressing room at the Bridgestone Arena could he imagine a better start in his first real opportunity to become the top-flight goaltender it seems that every scouting report has projected him to be?

“Probably not” said Bernier the former Los Angeles Kings backup who continued to rocket up the charts here in the Music City with perhaps his best performance yet. “This has been my chance to step up and show what I can do. I’ve been waiting for that moment for a while.”

No need to savour it too much. Based on what we’ve seen so far it’s tough to imagine more won’t soon be on the way.

The scoreboard showed a 4-0 Leafs win over the defensively grinding Predators. But at times the game was lopsided the other way until the Leafs offence — which didn’t manage a shot on net until 6:19 remaining in the first — finally checked in just past the half-way point.

They moved to 4-1 overall and 3-0 on the road despite being outshot for the third time this season throttled much of the night in the faceoff circle and coach Randy Carlyle being forced to ice a lineup with four players who a week ago had yet to play an NHL game.

Turns out brilliant goaltending — especially the Bernier variety — can trump smoke and mirrors on many nights.

After that sleepy start offensively Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk teamed up for a pair of second-period goals the latter coming with nine seconds left. The first one had come on just their ninth shot of the game while the Predators were already at 22 and counting.

“My focus is to keep the team in the game” Bernier said. “We have a lot of talent (who were) great for us.”

Whether it was superb rebound control on point shots on a second-period power play or another highlight-quality stop on a near breakaway by Preds rookie defenceman Seth Jones you could see the Leafs gain in confidence the longer their goalie kept him in it.