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Bernier can’t save wilting Leafs against Blues; Toronto drops sixth in a row

Mar 25, 2014, 9:47 PM EDT

St. Louis Blues v Toronto Maple Leafs Getty Images

The sense was that Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier would be thrown right back into the fire after an injury-related hiatus, and the St. Louis Blues definitely made that true with a 23-shot first period on Tuesday. Bernier helped to keep the Maple Leafs competitive, but it wasn’t enough as the Blues won 5-3.

With that, the wilting Leafs have now lost six straight contests, possibly providing fans with a regular season collapse to stomach after last season’s crushing Game 7 loss to the Boston Bruins. (It almost feels mean to mention that at a time like this. Apologies.)

The Maple Leafs must hope that the Washington Capitals and Columbus Blue Jackets do minimal damage in their games on Tuesday, but more than anything else, they clearly must be in a soul-searching mode right now.

The Blues likely feel just fine, on the other hand, as Ryan Miller is now 8-2-1 with his new team. David Backes collected a hat trick while T.J. Oshie and Alex Steen generated three-point nights (one goal and two assists each). The Blues beefed up their West-leading standings total to 105 points, currently also tops in the NHL.

Bernier stopped 44 Blues shots on Tuesday, but it wasn’t enough against for a falling Leafs squad.

Sometimes on-paper matchups don’t seem as one-sided in reality in sports, but this one went predictably, which turns out to be bad news for a Maple Leafs team that’s grasping for optimism.

  1. bcisleman - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:50 PM

    Jim the problem ISN’T the goaltender. The problem is the team in front of him. They gave up 48 SOGs and lead the NHL by a WIDE margin in that stat.

    • James O'Brien - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:51 PM

      The second sentence states that Bernier helped Toronto to be competitive.

      • bcisleman - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:09 PM

        My point is that Reimer wasn’t hurting them either. Just a convenient target.

      • kaptaanamerica - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:17 PM

        Would a Leafs fan mind putting up the summary for the missing years going back to the start of the current playoff futility, to provide some context to the current situation? I would but I might be considered biased by the likes of Atwater.. Dudeman, etc…

        “Lupy Nazty Philthy – Mar 24, 2014 at 11:03 PM
        So hard being a fan of this team.

        It’s amazing how many ways they find to embarrass themselves and their fanbase.

        2005/06 missed the playoffs by 2 points.
        2006/07 Sundin et al exercising their NTCs only to miss the playoffs by 1 point.
        2011/12 the Ron Wilson collapse and missing the playoffs for the 7th straight time.
        2012/13 the game 7 collapse against the Bruins.

        now THIS”

      • kaptaanamerica - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:18 PM

        The current futility started before 2005/06, so if someone can start from i think before the previous NHL lockout…

      • blomfeld - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:28 PM

        DAMMIT JIM, I’M JUST A DOCTOR !

        Listen Bcisleman, at this point Bernier is the Leaf’s ‘only’ chance ! Reimer had his opportunity and he failed to deliver, simple as that. In fact, the only thing Reimer seems to be good at these days, is posing for ‘crying’ photos like some baby. I believe that the Leafs ‘will’ make the playoffs and that that will be thanks ‘solely’ to the league’s #3 goaltender !

        *** NHL’s Top Goalies as per French Daily Le Monde ***

        1) Jonathan Quick
        2) Martin Jones
        3) Jonathan Bernier
        4) Ben Scrivens
        5) Cory Schneider

        28) Buddy Ebson
        29) Alexander Ovechkin
        30) James Reimer

      • guitarhunterdude - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:35 PM

        To be fair, bcisleman, Reimer’s had a horrible year. But yes, over the course of his career, he’s been a solid goalie. The flak he catches (and has always caught) from Leaf fans is unwarranted.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Mar 25, 2014 at 11:25 PM

        I love KappyMurca calling me a Leafs fan, that’s just like an Oilers fan to do that….

      • kaptaanamerica - Mar 25, 2014 at 11:32 PM

        @Atwater, if you re-read my post I don’t actually call a Leafs fan, just said you’d probably consider me biased… lols…. kappy

        Also, calling me KappyMurca just reflects on you and your opinion of Americans. It’s too bad some Canadians are smug, arrogant, self-righteous and rude towards Americans, not to mention disparaging. The reality doesn’t really jibe with the external image of Canadians, if I were to take your comment as being indicative of Canadians in general.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Mar 26, 2014 at 12:52 AM

        Just smug and arrogant in regards to you, accusing me of some anti Americanism is a straw man argument. Stay on point.

        Have I ever accused you of being biased? Frankly I don’t even remember talking to you except for the time (not this one) where somehow you labelled me a Leafs fan. Which is weird cause I’ve never been shy about being a Flames fan, much like you with the Canucks. I honestly don’t care what you say about any team, if I agree with you I’ll say so, if I don’t I might make counter points to what you say. That’s it.

        Since we’re talking about bias though, here are mine towards the Canadian teams:

        Montreal: I don’t like them, the 86 final was one of my first memories of watching hockey, I was heartbroken.
        Ottawa: I don’t care one way or the other about them, I’m surprised they’re as bad as they are this year, thought they’d be pretty good.
        Toronto: I think it’s funny when they’re bad, Burke was finally starting to get things going when they fired him, they replaced him with an awful GM (as a Canucks fan you should remember) and now that he’s put his “stamp” on the team, they’re back to where they were but in a much worse cap position.
        Winnipeg: Glad they got their team back, don’t really care about them one way or the other.
        Edmonton: I dislike them greatly, the management is awful, is it a coincidence that the two owners who always bring their kids up onto the stage at the draft (Katz and Wang) are the owners of two of the most floundering organizations?
        Vancouver: Not a fan in any way, I firmly believe they have the worst GM in the NHL and they’re basically where the Flames were 4 years ago, the owner might have realized that though, they’ll be an interesting team to follow this offseason.

  2. savior72 - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:52 PM

    Was there ever any question as to the outcome of this game? Congrats to the leafs for not quitting and trying to make it a game late. Their fans deserve better

    • sportsfaninyyc - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:00 PM

      Deserves got nothing to do with it-Clint Eastwood

  3. graymalkin26 - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:27 PM

    Leafs suck, go Habs!

  4. iowa02 - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:38 PM

    Best/funniest moment…Bouwmeester dropping vanRiemsdyk like a ragdoll. He has really been fiesty is games as of late.

    • jpelle82 - Mar 26, 2014 at 11:11 AM

      i thought it was when alex steen threw phaneuf down and out of the way to score his goal. pretty sad

      http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=2013021079-481-h

  5. bsaures - Mar 25, 2014 at 11:06 PM

    And they are in 9th good job leafs way to find a way to start golfing on time this year

  6. cutelittleguy02 - Mar 25, 2014 at 11:08 PM

    I can t believe Habs still in top 3 and Toronto fighting hard in wild card

  7. jhaegs - Mar 25, 2014 at 11:20 PM

    Phaneuf is the second biggest joke of a captain, next to D-Brown (it’s a close second). One of the softest, and laziest players I’ve ever seen. Kessel and JVR are great, but I feel sorry for them and Toronto fans with Dion as the “leader”.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Mar 25, 2014 at 11:28 PM

      So you’re saying it was a mistake to give him $7 million a year on the extension? haha! My favorite part of it is their excuse that “well someone else would have done it if we didn’t” it goes back to the old thing your parents said to you as a kid “if someone else jumped off a bridge would you?”

      • jpelle82 - Mar 26, 2014 at 11:15 AM

        rob ford should hire phaneuf’s agent for his re-election campaign coming up

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