Bernier the likely starter for desperate Leafs

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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.