When the dust settles on Jonathan Bernier’s career, you might be able to name the low point as Dec. 17 when the San Jose Sharks pulled off a 5-4 come-from-behind win against him in overtime to drop his record to 0-8-3. Things have been going better for Bernier lately, but it was in danger of all falling apart again.
Bernier surrendered six goals on 15 shots against the New York Islanders Tuesday night before mercifully being pulled. However, he was still given the nod just a day later against the Pittsburgh Penguins and responded by making 39 saves en route to a 3-2 shootout victory.
After that disastrous start to the season, which included an AHL conditioning stint, his win against the Penguins showed that maybe he’s finally turned a corner.
“There’s no confidence issue now,” Bernier told Sportsnet 590, per Sportsnet’s website.
The season is far from over, but Toronto is already looking like a long shot to make the playoffs. However, the rest of the season will help define the Leafs’ goaltending situation going forward. James Reimer is in the final season of his contract and given how he’s played when healthy in 2015-16, he might be due for a substantial raise. If Bernier proves himself to be capable for the remainder of the season though, it might give the Maple Leafs confidence enough in him make a long-term commitment, even at the expense of Reimer.