There was some confusion as to where the mini Leafs goalie controversy was headed ahead of tonight's game against the Winnipeg Jets, but for now the controversy is on hold. When Sparks was dressed and taking shots, and Bernier was nowhere to be found, fans began wondering what the team's plans were for the three Leafs goalies.
One goaltender not on the ice this morning: Jonathan Bernier.— Jonas Siegel (@jonasTSN1050) December 2, 2015
Eventually Bernier would take to the ice.
Bernier joins the skate after 20 minutes.— Jonas Siegel (@jonasTSN1050) December 2, 2015
With the move, it appears that Sparks will get his second NHL start.
Garret Sparks in Leaf end to begin morning skate. Expected to start tonight. #TMLtalk— Paul Hendrick (@HennyTweets) December 2, 2015
It turned out there were so many changes happening that even Leafs goalie coach Steve Briere was a bit confused.
Seems to be some confusion even among Leafs coaching staff with goalies. Steve Briere rushed to clarify with Babcock as he left the ice.— Jonas Siegel (@jonasTSN1050) December 2, 2015
And now we have our answer.
Bernier to Marlies for ten days.— Lance Hornby (@sunhornby) December 2, 2015
So it seems Bernier is off on a conditioning stint with the Toronto Marlies where he is reportedly expected to start four of six games, including a couple at Ricoh Coliseum.
The Leafs are on a road trip, and it seems like Bernier made the trip, as more information comes out we'll keep this post updated, such as when he'll be back in Toronto.
The Leafs are on the road for a week, visiting Winnipeg, Minnesota, and St. Louis. The Marlies will play 3-4 games during Bernier's stint there, depending on when the 10 days start and end.
They head to Rochester to take on the Americans on Friday, and play two at home versus the Manitoba Moose Saturday and Sunday.
Bernier to the Marlies to find his game was suggested earlier this week. He hasn't had a good season so far, going 0-8-1 in his starts, and posting an .888sv%, and 3.28GAA. He lost the starter's role to James Reimer in November who went 7-3-4 posting .934sv% and 2.07GAA. When Reimer was unable to play on Monday, AHL call-up Garret Sparks was given the start and posted a shutout.
Bernier had to give his permission to go down and it seems he has. Chris Johnston shared the section of the CBA covering conditioning stints on twitter:
Hopefully this stint in the AHL gives Bernier some of his game back. As the Leafs take to the road, Bernier will have plenty of time for practice and an opportunity to win some games.