Jonathan Bernier has Leafs' No. 1 role virtually locked down

Sharing a laugh with teammate Phil Kessel on Wednesday in Toronto, Jonathan Bernier (right) appears...

Sharing a laugh with teammate Phil Kessel on Wednesday in Toronto, Jonathan Bernier (right) appears to have snatched the Leafs starter's role from James Reimer. (Dave Abel/QMI Agency)

DAVE HILSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:08 PM ET

TORONTO - It hasn’t necessarily been the smoothest of ascents. There have been those what-the-heck goals that just make you shake your head, three or four of them already this season.

And then there was that off night in Dallas a week ago when he was yanked after giving up three goals on 13 shots.

But then there have been the kind of saves that Jonathan Bernier made on Tuesday night against Martin St. Louis that make you go “wow,” the kind that can lift a team, the kind that can win contests.

Dion Phaneuf called it the “save of the season” after the game was over.

Bernier stretched across his crease and snagged St. Louis’ near-certain goal out of midair with his glove to prevent the red-hot captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning from drawing his team even with the Leafs not long after Toronto had gone up 3-2 in the third, the score by which it would win.


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