Nazem Kadri;  Vincent Lecavalier

Bernier the likely starter for desperate Leafs


Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle wasn’t committing to anything this morning, but the signs point to the return of Jonathan Bernier in Toronto’s net tonight against St. Louis.

Despite Carlyle’s guardedness, Bernier was the first goalie to leave the ice following the morning skate, which usually indicates the starter.

If it is Bernier tonight, it will be his first start since hurting his groin on Mar. 13 in Los Angeles. James Reimer has started every game since, losing all five while surrendering 18 goals combined and becoming the face, warranted or not, of his team’s struggles.

Toronto’s losing streak has led to its playoff chances falling to 34.2 percent, according to Sports Club Stats. A win tonight over the Presidents’ Trophy frontrunners would not only be important for the much-needed two points, but also to restore some confidence to a team that’s verging on another epic collapse.

With the possible exception of Colorado, no team has gotten more out of its goaltenders than the Leafs, who have only outshot their opponents 14 times this season.

Derek Roy signs in Swiss league

Derek Roy, Jeremy Smith, Chris Kelly
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Derek Roy has finally found work — but it’s not in the NHL.

Roy, who spent the entire preseason in Washington’s camp on a PTO, has signed with SC Bern of Switzerland’s National League A, the club announced on Friday.

The news comes after Roy narrowly missed out on making the Caps roster, and just one year after he had something of a bounce-back campaign in Edmonton, scoring 22 points in 46 games while developing chemistry with young winger Nail Yakupov.

A 12-year NHL veteran, Roy is one of the more prominent names to be squeezed out of work this season, and head overseas. The 31-year-old has scored over 500 points in 738 career contests, and has twice represented Canada at the World Hockey Championships.

With Bern, Roy will play on one of Switzerland’s stronger teams, alongside a trio of ex-NHLers: Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett and Cory Conacher.

Lehner’s injury ‘doesn’t look like it’s short term’

Robin Lehner
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Robin Lehner might not be back anytime soon.

Making his debut with the Buffalo Sabres, the 24-year-old goaltender couldn’t complete Thursday’s game against his former squad, the Ottawa Senators, due to what has now been revealed to be a right leg injury.

When he left the arena, he was wearing a walking boot on that nearly went up to his knee.

“It doesn’t look like it’s short term,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News. “It’s more than day-to-day at this point, but we need to evaluate further.”

It’s a rocky start to what’s an important campaign for Lehner. He has been given an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender after being acquired by the Sabres over the summer, but it looks like that will have to be postponed.

While he’s sidelined, Chad Johnson is likely to be leaned on heavily.