Toronto Maple Leafs: 10 Storylines to Follow This Seasons

4 of 11

Nov 15, 2015; New York, NY, USA; Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier (45) gives up a goal to New York Rangers center Derek Stepan (21) during the second period of an NHL hockey game at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Can Jonathan Bernier Regain His Confidence?

Management thought they had solidified their goaltending situation when they traded for Bernier in 2013. They were not sold on Reimer being the starter and thought Bernier would give them a more stable option.

In his first season with the Leafs Bernier had decent numbers but the results were not what the team was expecting. This season has been a nightmare for Bernier going 0-8-1 in his nine starts then suffering an injury that has seen him lose his starting job. Many are wondering what the issue could be, whether it is a technical problem or a mental problem, but it is clear that Bernier is not in a good place right now. Now the question becomes whether he can regroup and regain his confidence?

Right now it looks like the issues are mental with Bernier because after returning from his injury he has a game to forget against the Rangers. He said recently that he is not too concerned with this recent struggles.

"“I have to approach it as a new season,” Bernier said when asked about his mindset. “It’s a long season and obviously James is playing well. I’m happy for him. We’re winning. That’s the important thing. But I don’t think I was that far off to be at least .500. I can’t really look at it as a really negative point, I just have to start fresh when I get the start and play like it’s a new season.””"

For the Leafs sake they want Bernier to get his game back because whether he is their goalie next season, or a possible trade asset, he presents no value at the moment. GM Lou Lamoriello said recently to that he is not ready to give up on Jonathan Bernier.

"“I have tremendous confidence in that he will rebound and respond. Reims has been given the opportunity and has taken the advantage of it which is great. I have no qualms with reference to where we are at there. Only time will tell as far as what the big picture is. You’ll observe and just whatever decision have to be made will be made at the right time. The decisions will tell you when they have to be made.”"

Everyone on the Leafs management and coaching staff are willing to be patient with Bernier but how long will that last? It is not like Bernier has had a track record to suggest that he is capable of bouncing back from a tough stretch. However, he has shown that he can be a solid goaltender, whether or not he is with the Leafs moving forward is another story, but right now his focus has to be on getting his first win of the season and nothing else.

Next: Nazem Kadri and his Struggles Offensively