Jonathan Bernier was perfect in net last night for the Marlies, a 4-0 decision played in Rochester against the Amerks. He had a lot of goal support (which many of you pointed out must've been an odd feeling for him), with two goals scored by William Nylander, and two by Nikita Soshnikov. The Amerks struggled to find Bernier's side of the ice, frankly, with shots tilted 38 - 21 toward the Marlies. But still, a shutout is a shutout, and Bernier had to actually work during the final minutes of the third, when the Amerks got a power play.
Bernier's solidness in net and excellent health was probably a relief to everyone in the Leafs organization, because there was a scramble for a Marlies emergency backup when Ryan Massa (Orlando's backup goaltender) got sent back a day too early, and Antoine Bibeau got sent up to the Leafs right before the game.
Enter a 38-year-old Zamboni driver, David Ayres. Welcome to the Leafs organization, Ayres!
With Bibeau gone, the Marlies were forced to sign David Ayres, the building operations manager at Mattamy Athletic Centre, to an amateur tryout contract to serve as Bernier's backup. Ayres, a 38-year-old who occasionally works for the ice crew and drives the Zamboni during Marlies games, made it to Rochester just over an hour before puck drop.
Signing a random guy as Emergency Backup is a common occurrence in Orlando, because poop generally rolls downhill. Our Emergency Backup is Bobby Fowler, who got the call to back up Ryan Massa for tonight's game (which I will be attending), since Rob Madore is up with the Marlies.
All of this got me thinking, though:
Tonight's game is going to feature the exciting young goaltending duo of Garret Sparks and Bibeau in net for the Leafs. The Marlies, well. Rob Madore (Orlando's starting goaltender) is on a plane even as we speak, and he'll be backing up Bernier shortly.
That's right. An ECHL goaltender will be backing up an NHL goaltender in an AHL game. I hear this is not all that uncommon, even though it kinda sounds cool. Anyway I sincerely doubt Madore started his season thinking, "I bet I'll be backing up Bernier by December."
Oh. For people who like history, I was hopping around on r/hockey's thread about this, and someone posted video from 2012, when the Niagara IceDogs and Erie Otters played a game with a skater dressed as a goaltender.
This Mitch Marner kid is pretty good... https://t.co/Ww6Wi0a9Bn— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) December 5, 2015
Here's Nylander's first goal from tonight. His wrist shot is absurd. pic.twitter.com/cqU0esvBD1— J*ff V**ll*tt* (@JeffVeillette) December 5, 2015
Maple Leafs jigsaw puzzle finally comes together | Toronto Sun
Not a metaphorical puzzle, an actual one.
Other Hockey News
NHL must scrap this inane rule to get the fights it needs | New York Post
"The instigator penalty is a utter detriment to the league." I'll probably regret linking to this opinion piece.
Hickey on Hockey: NHL All-Star Game voting devolves into hacking contest | Montreal Gazette
If we break the system well enough, will they let us handle the US Presidential election?!
Last Night's Games by Species
Presented without comment.
this guy in Edmonton pic.twitter.com/DzhatJL2fZ— Stephanie (@myregularface) December 5, 2015
Maybe they were exchanging pasta casserole recipes?
Marchand and a 15 year old yapping at each other pic.twitter.com/YD0hnGT2fw— Stephanie (@myregularface) December 5, 2015
Edmonton vs. Dallas , first goal from Taylor Hall. Dallas will still win, of course.
Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) December 5, 2015
The Flames had a lovely tribute for Gail Miller, who passed away suddenly last week. Miller had been a concession worker, and then concessions manager at the Saddledome for over 30 years. They invited her son to attend the game and he was thrilled.
Then they went out and kicked some Bruins arse!>>>>> IT WAS 4-4!!!!!!!
in the most Bruins turn of events ever, the Flames tie it with 1 second left pic.twitter.com/ndktsmfG78— Stephanie (@myregularface) December 5, 2015
Johnny Gaudreau got a hat trick.
Hats everywhere. pic.twitter.com/IOJubugmX1— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) December 5, 2015
Then he did an interview in a Fireman's hat. Also worth a listen as he talks about the incident with Marchand.
Guess which ex-Leaf got the game winning goal for the Ducks!
Santorelli goal, 1-0 Ducks in the 3rd period pic.twitter.com/D0nX4Z6Rp7— Stephanie (@myregularface) December 5, 2015
Do they not have a budget to feed the players in Anaheim?
Remember when we bought out this guy's contract?
Grabovski game-tying goal pic.twitter.com/Bnm44Kgx8y— Stephanie (@myregularface) December 5, 2015
Just when you finally think he's not going to actually shoot, he does. (SLMLD)
Read game-winner in OT pic.twitter.com/5fbzjwKtj5— Stephanie (@myregularface) December 5, 2015
I love it when guys are dumped into the bench, but why is this a "Million Dollar Replay"?
Farnham misses his target and goes into the bench, then gets a cross check to the back pic.twitter.com/gcbCDVHS1w— Stephanie (@myregularface) December 5, 2015
Suspension hearing coming?
another angle, slowed down pic.twitter.com/IopmrU4KCw— Stephanie (@myregularface) December 5, 2015
Canada's Minister of Fisheries and Oceans will not like this.
Simmonds hit on Tootoo pic.twitter.com/Axej33L97n— Stephanie (@myregularface) December 5, 2015
BC Alum Johnny Gaudreau Spoils the Bruins Trip to Calgary - Matchsticks and Gasoline
Gaudreau gets a hat trick giving the Flames an OT win against Boston
Points Stollen - The Copper & Blue
Anders Nilsson steals two points for the Oilers in a 2-1 OT win over Dallas
Kane's shorty breaks game open, Sabres win 5-2 - Die By The Blade
A complete team effort led by Evander Kane gave the Sabres a 5-2 win over Arizona.
Four wins! In a row! - Broad Street Hockey
The Flyers put forth a strong defensive effort, but needed their power play and 3-on-3 to get a win against their long-lasting thorn-in-the-side divisional rivals.
Panthers nip Blue Jackets 2-1 in shootout to sew up fifth straight win - Litter Box Cats
Huberdeau and Barkov score in the skills competition to keep the Cats rolling.