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Toronto Maple Leafs News & Notes: March 25, 2014

It looks like Jonathan Bernier is ready to return to the Toronto Maple Leafs’ crease after missing the last five games with a groin injury. As James Mirtle of The Globe and Mail writes, Bernier had the home team’s net for the entirety of the morning skate and was the first goalie to leave the ice, both telltale signs that he will be starting tonight against the St. Louis Blues.

The Leafs lost all five games Bernier missed and have allowed the New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers and Detroit Red Wings to pass them in the Eastern Conference standings. They sit precariously in the second wild card, only one point ahead of the Washington Capitals and two ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets. They need a win badly tonight.

Another member of the Toronto media did something incredibly dumb yesterday by associating @Hope_Smoke with some degenerates who sent personal attacks to James Reimer’s wife April on Twitter over the weekend. Read Hope’s account of yesterday’s events and be amazed at the ineptitude of one of Canada’s largest newspapers.

Bernier looks like he’s healthy enough to play tonight, meaning this whole “Will Reimer or Drew MacIntyre get the start?” discussion is pretty much dead. Still, Justin Bourne of theScore’s Backhand Shelf made a compelling case yesterday that Reimer should be between the pipes if Bernier can’t go. I like MacIntyre, but at the end of the day, in a crucial matchup against one of the best teams in the NHL, you go with the guy with the proven track record.

SkinnyFish of Pension Plan Puppets took a look at every goaltender that put up a .924 save percentage (which Reimer accomplished last season) in the last 13 seasons and compared it to their performance the following season. On average, those goaltenders saw a drop that is almost exactly the same as the one Reimer is experiencing this season. In short, stop freaking out about Reimer’s performance because he’s very likely still an above-average NHL goaltender.

Lastly, someone on Reddit created this awesome infographic charting the evolution of every NHL jersey. The Carolina Hurricanes really need to bring back those Hartford Whalers unis as their third jersey.

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Tags: Drew Macintyre James Reimer Jonathan Bernier Toronto Maple Leafs

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