Jonathan Bernier will start in goal Tuesday night when the Maple Leafs face the Colorado Avalanche and put their undefeated 3-0 record on the line. The Leafs — whose sterling record is tainted by an NHL-leading 50 turnovers so far — will be making a game-time decision on centre Jay McLement who was with his wife who went into labour. McLement one of the club’s most reliable two-way forwards and its top penalty killer did not participate in the club’s morning skate Tuesday. Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said the couple expecting their first child went to the hospital about 3:30 a.m. ET. “Hopefully it comes quicker than later” said Carlyle mindful of a game looming with the Colorado Avalanche. “But it’s something we don’t have control over. “You can’t blame me for that one guys” he told reporters drawing laughs. Toronto called up Marlie captain Trevor Smith to fill in the roster spot for the skate. The Leafs always have a buzz surrounding the club and Tuesday morning was no different; the latest talk centred on Jake Gardiner and where he fits in under coach Randy Carlyle’s system. Gardiner has not played up to expectations on occasion at this early point of the season sparking rumours he is a prime candidate to be traded. But Leafs assistant GM Claude Loiselle went on radio Tuesday morning and said the Leafs have not offered Gardiner to any team. In the meantime Bernier may also be getting the nod for the next three games all of which are against Western Conference opponents. Bernier’s career prior to joining the Leafs in an off-season trade has seen a predominant Western team exposure; he spent the bulk of his career with Los Angeles and is far more familiar with the teams from out west than fellow goalie James Reimer. Toronto plays Colorado on Tuesday and is on the road Thursday to Nashville; Bernier is 7-1-0 lifetime against the Predators with a 1.88 GAA and a .932 save percentage. The three-game swing finishes with the Edmonton Oilers in Toronto on Saturday night. “For sure you are more comfortable with the Bostons and the Montreals because you know what they’ll be doing most of the time” Leafs winger Joffrey Lupul said. “We haven’t played the Western teams much and we haven’t played our game the way we are capable of.
Leafs to start goalie Jonathan Bernier against Colorado Avalanche
Toronto Star | Oct 8