PHILADELPHIA - Behind a tired team playing sloppy and almost uninspired hockey, Jonathan Bernier looked like he was going to be forced to make his Maple Leafs debut a solo effort.
When his defence wasn’t turning it over Wednesday night, it was abandoning him through a rough 20 minutes of road weariness against a Flyers team anxious to make a strong first impression in its season opener.
And then the new Leaf ran through the checklist of how great goaltending can change a game, ultimately leading his team to a 3-1 victory at the Wells Fargo Center, doing his part for a sweep of the back-to-back road games to open the season.
How many times have you heard hockey players talk about the energizing effect of superb goaltending? It surely had an effect on the Leafs finding their legs in the second period and gradually changing the flow of the game.