Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier back to face the Kings

Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jonathan Bernier will face the Kings since he was traded from Los...

Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jonathan Bernier will face the Kings since he was traded from Los Angeles. (HARRY HOW/Getty Images/AFP)

Terry Koshan, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:48 PM ET

Jonathan Bernier had planned to meet with several of his former Los Angeles Kings teammates for dinner on Wednesday night and was going to relay a simple message.

“I’m going to try to let them know they have to shoot wide,” Bernier said with a grin.

That shouldn’t be necessary for Bernier on Thursday night when he skates into his crease at the Staples Center, his first return to the building after the Maple Leafs acquired him from the Kings last June.

After all, Bernier has provided the kind of goaltending Leafs fans have not seen with any consistency since the days of Ed Belfour and, before him, Curtis Joseph.

Bernier — whose .926 save percentage in 49 games has him near the top of the National Hockey League — doesn’t just keep his team in games, as any goalie is supposed to do. He often is the biggest reason for victory, that is if he is not outright stealing games, most recently with 43 saves against the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night.


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