Maple Leafs G Jonathan Bernier out three weeks with MCL strain

Jonathan Bernier suffered a strained MCL on this play Thursday. (USATSI)
Jonathan Bernier suffered a strained MCL on this play Thursday. (USATSI)

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The Toronto Maple Leafs were dealt another harsh blow to their playoff hopes when it was revealed that goaltender Jonathan Bernier suffered a strained MCL Thursday night against the Bruins. According to head coach Randy Carlyle, Bernier will miss the next three weeks, which ends his regular season and would extend into the playoffs if the Maple Leafs were to make it.

This is devastating news to the Leafs, who were without Bernier for more than a week in March after he suffered a groin strain. He has been the better of Toronto’s two goaltenders much of this year and had really started to cement himself as the team’s No. 1.

Bernier was injured in the third period Thursday night, with the Maple Leafs holding a 3-2 lead. Defenseman Paul Ranger pushed Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron on top of Bernier, who was already on his knees.

It’s been that kind of thing lately for the Maple Leafs where nothing goes their way and they can be their own worst enemy.

Bernier holds a 26-19-7 record to go along with a .923 save percentage and 2.68 goals-against average. He struggled just like everyone else in the recent disastrous eight-game losing streak the Leafs broke earlier in the week, but Reimer had a real rough go of it in March.

In eight games last month, Reimer was rung up for seven losses thanks to an .896 save percentage and 3.76 goals-against average. He has proven in the past he can be a No. 1, but his recent stretch won’t build a lot of confidence.

This is a very tough situation for the Maple Leafs, who are one point out of the last playoff spot in the East with just four games to play. They’re going to probably need some help in addition to winning those last four games to make it in. Even if they do, however, they won’t have Bernier for much of the first round on that timetable. 

CBS Sports Writer

Chris Peters has been a hockey writer for CBS Sports since 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for numerous outlets and edited the United States of Hockey blog, covering the sport at all levels. Peters also... Full Bio

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