The Toronto Maple Leafs made quick work of the Colorado Avalanche last night, as they buried the Avs for 7 goals in a 7-4 final in Colorado. The Leafs offense looked its best of the season there, as it is a good sign for Toronto who couldn’t find the back of the net early in the season. But what they were doing is putting a lot of shots on net. They were getting their chances to score, but the puck wasn’t going in their direction. Lately the offense has looked much better, and the pucks are finally finding the back of the net. There is a catch here though, the goaltending situation has forced the Leafs to start Jonathan Bernier. Bernier started last night, and while the Leafs won, they of course gave up 4 goals as well. Injuries to James Reimer and Garret Sparks has forced the hand for the Leafs, needing to go with Bernier because of the situation. If it weren’t for the injuries he would not be playing. Bernier earned his second win of the season last night against the Avs. His first came in an unlikely shutout against the LA Kings, his former team. Bernier stands at 2-8 on the year.
The whole situation took another twist after the Leafs signed Ray Emery to a contract with the Marlies. Emery probably isn’t going to be starting for the Leafs anytime soon, but he could be called up as a backup. An interesting note, Emery became the sixth goalie to win a game for the Marlies the other night. His best years were in Ottawa with the Senators, and while those days have long passed, Emery is still bouncing around the NHL earning a paycheck. He joined the Lightning in training camp, was released, went to the Kings’ minor league system and is now with the Leafs. This is a tryout stint, as were the previous visits to Tampa and LA. Tonight it will be Bernier for the Leafs, who travel further south to the desert for a match with the Coyotes. Louise Domingue gets the call again in net tonight, coming in with a 1-1 record and a terrific 1.36. We’ll see how Domingue handles the Leafs after they torched the Avalanche last night.
Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Arizona Coyotes NHL Pick
The Leafs have to be feeling pretty good after scoring 7 goals, the most they have all season last night in Colorado. However, unfortunately they have no time to sit back and enjoy the victory. They need to get on a plane and head down to Arizona to face the Yotes who have been up and down, just like the Leafs this season. In their last time on the ice, the Coyotes impressively knocked the Islanders off by a score of 1-0. All it took was the 1 goal to come out victorious, Domingue took care of the rest.
On a back-to-back after such a huge outpouring on offense, I find it difficult to back the Leafs tonight. There should be some regression and the offense is not going to look as great as last night. Further, in all of this, is the fact that Bernier is in net for the Leafs. He enters with a 2-8 record along with a 3.22 GAA. Domingue should get the best of the Leafs Tuesday night and show them why last night was a fluke occurrence. Usually after big nights like that, they come back to earth quickly.
PICK: COYOTES TO WIN -126