Leafs’ Bernier: ‘You can’t have luck on your side all season’

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Whether you judge a team based on simple stats like shots for and against or “fancy” ones like Fenwick Close (which charts puck possession), it’s tough to deny that the Toronto Maple Leafs have received some good luck this season. Even Jonathan Bernier would agree, it seems.

The 25-year-old goalie made such an argument to The Globe & Mail’s James Mirtle on Sunday on the heels of the team’s fourth loss in a row.

“We’ve been giving up a lot of shots, and you can’t have luck on your side all season,” Bernier said.

Much has been made about the Maple Leafs striving for “shot quality,” yet Bernier has a point; it’s difficult to paint too pretty a picture about giving up the most shots per game (35.9) while generating the third lowest average of shots each night (26.4).

Toronto’s team save percentage is the fifth highest in the NHL, as Bernier and James Reimer have frequently bailed the Buds out. It will be difficult to sustain such elite work over an 82-game season, however.

Despite this four-game skid, the Maple Leafs find themselves in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff hunt, so it’s not all bad news for Toronto. And it probably hasn’t been all bad luck (aside from injuries), either.