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Latest From Tuesday's Leafs Practice

by David Alter / Toronto Maple Leafs


The Leafs scoring issues have been told over the course of the last five games.

With the commitment to playing a better game, the Leafs offence has struggled to new lows.

Last night, Leafs interim coach Peter Horachek affirmed his commitment to continue to play the brand of hockey that will yield sustainable results.

Scoring hasn’t been the only problem though.

The Leafs goaltending hasn’t been able to come close to replicating the type of success that was seen earlier in the season.

Flashback to December, and Jonathan Bernier was playing his best hockey. He had four consecutive performances of .950+ save percentages and finished the month at .925. It was easily his best month so far.

Through seven starts in 2015, Bernier’s save percentage is .877. He was pulled early in the second period of Monday’s game fter giving up three goals in 13 shots.

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“I don’t think I was really sharp last night,” Bernier said. “I made a couple of good saves but at the same time, I didn’t find myself making that extra big save to let my team stay in that game.”

James Reimer played the remaining 39 minutes of Toronto’s 4-1 loss to Carolina. With Reimer’s stellar 10-2-1 record against the Senators, we may see him get the nod in our nation’s capital.

With the Leafs lacking some offence, it’s expected that the goaltenders may feel more pressure to make the saves.

Bernier disagrees.

“That’s the one thing for a goalie, I guess it’s a nice thing that you don’t have to worry about it and just trying focus on your game. (Because if I’m concerned) we’re not scoring on the power-play isn’t working, then it throws you off your game.”

With goals being scored on early, there is a temptation to cheat. The pressure is felt by everybody. At Leafs practice you saw a juggling of lines. Nazem Kadri was put on a line with Phil Kessel in an attempt to shake things up offensively.

Leivo and Percy up, Carrick and Bodie down

In an effort to changes things up, the Maple Leafs made a couple of roster changes. One was born out of necessity when it was learned that defenceman Stephane Robidas will be out through the All-Star break due to an upper-body injury.

Defenceman Stu Percy was called up to bring the defenceman count up to seven. Josh Leivo gets another run with the Leafs, after playing eight games this season, registering one goal.

Infirmary

Leo Komarov practiced, but is not expected back in the lineup Wednesday. With the Leafs having a good week between games after Wednesday, it is Horachek’s hope to have a fully healthy roster. Joffrey Lupul and Peter Holland skated prior to practice. As did Robidas.

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