Jan 12, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs center Tyler Bozak (42) celebrates his goal with left wing James van Riemsdyk (21) and right wing Phil Kessel (81) and defenseman Cody Franson (4) and defenseman Tim Gleason (8) against the New Jersey Devils at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Maple Leafs End 4-Game Skid, Beat Devils

It may not have happened as it should have, but the Toronto Maple Leafs behind a stellar performance from Jonathan Bernier, beat the New Jersey Devils in a shoot-out victory.

Bernier, who has received flak for his recent performances came away with the 2nd star, stopping 36 shots. The shot totals are a continued trend, and the Leafs are lucky it didn’t cost them a game yet again.

James van Riemsdyk had a goal in the 2nd, and another disallowed that would have given the Leafs a 3-2 lead, thus negating the need for overtime.  In a display of karmic justice he also scored the lone goal in the shoot-out, and garnered 1st star honours.

The Toront Maple Leafs win ends a four game losing streak which saw them outscored 21-7. The shoot-out victory makes them 8-4 on the season when games reach the shoot-out. This has been one of the major areas where the Leafs have been able to keep up in the conference.

The Leafs are still on the outside of the playoff race, but are tied with the 8th seeded Rangers in points, but fall below them by way of win differential. The importance of winning these close games cannot be overstated enough. After a string of bad defeats and a close loss to the Capitals, it is a relief to see the Leafs on the winning side of the ledger.

Be that as it may my faith in this year’s team has steadily eroded, to the point where I have all but given up on them. I lay it all out in my latest article, where I try to distance myself from the perpetual hopes and dreams of just making the playoffs. I would rather not have to endure the heartbreak all over again.

The Toronto Maple Leafs will have a night off before going up against the Boston Bruins, the very reason for that heartbreak. I hope that if they lose, they lose by a lot, and not after giving up a three goal lead.

 

Tags: Toronto Maple Leafs

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