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It’ll be Howard vs. Bernier in goal at the 2014 Winter Classic

Dec 31, 2013, 5:44 PM EDT

Jonathan Bernier Getty Images

The goaltending match-up for the 2014 Winter Classic is set.

Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier said he was getting the start against the Detroit Red Wings on New Year’s Day following Leafs practice at Michigan Stadium today. Detroit will counter with Jimmy Howard who returned from an injury on Monday night.

Bernier’s career numbers against Detroit aren’t so hot. In five career games, he’s 1-1-1 with a .893 save percentage and a 3.13 goals-against average. Oddly enough, those numbers are better than James Reimer‘s against the Wings.

In two games against the Wings, Reimer is 0-1-0 with a 4.95 goals-against average and .850 save percentage. With the game set on the massive stage of The Big House in Ann Arbor, Michigan going with Bernier is the logical call.

Howard struggled in his return against the Nashville Predators last night allowing five goals in a 6-4 loss. His numbers are equally poor against the Maple Leafs going 0-1-0 in two career games with a 3.43 goals-against average and a .829 save percentage.

Those are some small sample sizes for everyone to make wild judgments from.

  1. lowenni - Dec 31, 2013 at 6:18 PM

    Even though he’s struggled this season, it’s pretty obvious Howard should start. He’s the starting goalie on that team even if Jonas is playing well, and he’s earned the chance to play in the WC.

  2. wingsfan97 - Dec 31, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    Well wings are going to lose

  3. titansrbeast - Dec 31, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    I bet Reimer is PISSED. lol

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 31, 2013 at 7:59 PM

      He should be. Not because of this alone, but because Carlyle won’t come out and say Bernier is his guy, even though it’s abundantly clear (which itself is questionable, as they have very similar numbers so far this year). Keeping up this illusion that there’s a 1-A and 1-B is stupid and unfair to both guys.

      Reimer was smiling all the time before this year but he’s not anymore and I can’t blame him

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