The Kings Ransom Unmasked

By on February 28, 2014

No Secret. If you have been following the Toronto Maple Leafs this season you know that the Leafs get outshot almost every single game. Despite that horrific statistic, Toronto is 5th place in the Eastern conference with just over 20 games to go, and is looking for a second consecutive play-off berth.

The man reason Toronto has a chance to get home-ice advantage in the first round can be attributed to one off-season deal GM Dave Nonis pulled the trigger on.  The trade that brought Jonathan Bernier to Toronto.

The Leafs sent their own backup, Ben Scrivens, gritty forward Matt Frattin and a second round pick to acquire Bernier.  The trade, as any transaction is in professional sports, was a big gamble. Bernier had the potential to be a number one goalie, but had only been a backup in the 3 seasons he was in the NHL.

The big intrigue was that Bernier is 25 years old and was the perennial backup to All-Star and US Olympic goalie Jonathan Quick. He was on the bench for a Stanley Cup, and that remains to be seen if it will be an asset or not. The knock was from 2011-2013 he played in only 30 games. But he compiled a stellar 2.12 GAA in a tough Pacific division.  After 60 games this season the clear winner of the trade are the Leafs.

Scrivens is now in Edmonton playing with a last place team, and Frattin has 6 points in only 40 games and is a minus 6.  Bernier has a .927 save percentage which is good for 6th in the league. Carey Price and Mike Smith are two goalies who have higher shots against, but they have lower save percentages. A solid gage for where Bernier has stood compared to two Olympic goalies.

But as we have seen throughout this season, Bernier night in night out stands on his head and gives the Leafs a chance to win every single game.

You have to feel for James Reimer. The goodie-two-shoes goalie who played solid all season only to have a 4-1 lead in game 7 of the first round of the playoffs vanish right before his eyes.

Bernier has been given the reins this season to prove that he is a number one goalie, and boy has he proven that he has what it takes.

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Brett Innis

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