The Toronto Maple Leafs will look to bounce back after a loss to the Boston Bruins when they travel to St. Paul to take on the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night. The Wild will start Niklas Backstrom between the pipes and the Leafs will counter with a goalie who seems to be the Wild’s worst nightmare. Throughout Jonathan Bernier‘s relatively young career, he has had the Wild’s number.
In six career starts against the Wild, Bernier has shut them out on three different occasions. This doesn’t fare well for Wild fans who are hoping their team can continue their current hot streak, as they have gone 7-2-1 in their last 10 games. The Maple Leafs have had to settle with a mediocre record of 5-5 in their last 10. Perhaps a lucky charm in Bernier is what they need to bounce back to make a return to the top of the standings in the Eastern Conference’s Atlantic Division.
Not only will the Leafs be counting on Bernier to continue his success against the Wild, they will also need their penalty kill as a whole to play a lot better. The Buds gave up two power-play goals to the Bruins on Saturday night, which proved to be the big difference-maker. The Leafs will also have to capitalize on every chance they get as the Wild give up an average of 24.2 shots per game, good enough for best in the NHL in that department.
Back to counting on Bernier, the Leafs will need him to play especially well as they are among the league’s worst in shots against per game, sporting an average of 36.5.