Preview and GDT: Panthers at Maple Leafs (7 p.m., Leafs TV)

Preview and GDT: Panthers at Maple Leafs (7 p.m., Leafs TV)

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There is talk Jonathan Bernier will start tonight, which doesn’t make any sense.

It would be five starts out of six for Bernier and in a back to back to boot – note: Bernier was also officially credited with the St. Louis loss – meaning Bernier would be the first of the two to get an extended run of starts for no reason related to actual performance.

Bernier has been below .900 in 7 of his last 10 games. Reimer won his last full game in a shootout after facing 50 shots against Ottawa. SItting him out in a back to back would be a slap in the face. Not sure if it’s related to the St. Louis loss, but the Leafs getting ran over in the first period and leaving players wide open in the slot all period would seem to excuse the goalie from any fault.

We’ll see who is in the net come game time before jumping to further conclusions.

The Panthers are not a push over as they were earlier in the season. They’re rested and have been waiting in Toronto. They’re winners of 5 of their last 6. Starter Scott Clemmensen has been solid in his last two games – wins over Montreal and Washington. Brad Boyes and Jimmy Hayes will each be good for a goal.

Jerry D’Amigo is unlikely to play, but we won’t know who will play in his place until game time. Same deal for any changes on the blueline (even though there shouldn’t be).

The Leafs need this one.

Alec Brownscombe is the founder of MapleLeafsHotStove.com, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He was also the editor of the 2009-12 Maple Leafs Annuals. You can contact him at [email protected]