TORONTO – Under the strain of a no. Michael Ferland Jersey . 1 gig in the NHL for the very first time, Jonathan Bernier has learned that its best to do little with off-nights from the grueling schedule, condensed as it is in an Olympic year. "I go home and watch TV and just rest," he said with a smile. "But thats what you need to do to be successful. Thats what Im going to do." And thats precisely what the Maple Leafs need him to do. Outside of the incomparable Phil Kessel, no player means more to Torontos fortunes down the stretch and into a hopeful postseason run than the 25-year-old between the pipes. Freed from the shadows of Jonathan Quick, Bernier has shined brilliantly in his first go-around as an NHL starter, minding the fort on most nights in front of a poor defensive team. The Laval, Quebec native ranks sixth in save percentage amongst goaltenders with at least 30 starts, this despite facing more shots than anyone but Mike Smith – Smith, of course, making nine more starts. Whether Bernier has the juice to maintain such a performance down the stretch could very well determine his teams fate. Though theyve scored in droves all year, the Leafs have also struggled badly to defend, requiring Bernier to fend off a barrage of 35, 40 and sometimes 50 shots against on many nights. His efforts have rarely wavered in spite of the workload. Berniers best month in terms of save percentage was October when he posted a sterling .933 mark, his worst coming more recently in January with a still respectable .916 showing. The Leafs – who allow a league-high of more than 36 shots per game – would not be on the firm ground of a playoff spot currently without such feats. "I knew my biggest challenge this year was going to be consistency," he told the Leaf Report, "to be good every night and hopefully, once in a while, be great and steal a few games for your team. Thats my main goal, to be good every night and give a chance to my team to win. But thats hard. When you havent played that much (as a starter) you feel tired a lot more than you are usually so its more like a grind mentally to push yourself to be better every day and work hard in practice. "Why (Henrik) Lundqvist is known as the best is hes going to be good every night and hes going to be great once in a while. Thats how you become the best is consistency. You can have one good year and then youre not going to be the best because youve got to prove it over and over. Thats what makes you a great player." Not since the 2009-10 season has Bernier played anywhere near this many games (40 starts) and that was when he was a Manchester Monarch in the AHL. His performance then was eye-catching. Then just 21, he posted a league-leading .936 save percentage during the regular season – Nathan Lawson was second at .922 – raising his level even higher in the playoffs with a .939 mark that again topped every one of his Calder Cup counterparts. All of which makes his performance this season if not surprising then reaffirming of the promise he showed early and often as a highly-touted prospect in the Kings organization. The question lingering now is whether he can continue to perform down the stretch or whether the strain of a sometimes painstaking load in Toronto will prove too much to bear. It will be worthwhile testing ground for the 11th pick in the 06 draft and could ultimately decide the Leafs fate this season. They remain a bad defensive team even with his heroics, ranking fifth to last in goals against. If he falters theres every chance they too falter as well (James Reimer lurks in the background in that case as a proven, if not unused, alternative). Bernier was on point in the final lead-up to the 18-day Olympic stoppage, but was scuffed up in his first two starts afterward, yielding nine goals combined in overtime losses to the Islanders and Canadiens. Off-nights like that will challenge the Leafs playoff push. Theyve required great goaltending to get to this point and will need more of the same in the final 20 games, the bulk of which Bernier is in line to start. Bernier for his part is doing what he can to remain sharp in the final leg of the regular season race. Earlier this season he noted that perhaps the greatest challenge of reassuming control of no. 1 duties is the mental focus required each and every night through an exhausting schedule, not simply the physical wear and tear associated with the job. "Its all about rest and feeling good about yourself and making sure you eat properly, you rest, you sleep good," he said. "Those are the things that are going to get you through a full season to be mentally sharp." Ambition is certainly high for Bernier. He wants to be great and the Leafs, at this stage, need him to be great, gambled when they acquired him that he could be great. "I dont want to look too far ahead," he said, "but my goal is to be the best I can be. Its going to take a few years to get that name (for myself) … but right now Im going day by day and enjoying to play games. Thats what Ive been waiting for and it feels good." Carolina Hurricanes Gear . -- The NFL Players Association wants to determine if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers leaked information about quarterback Josh Freeman being in the NFLs substance abuse program. Jordan Martinook Jersey . -- Jonas Hiller is cautiously confident he has kicked his vertigo. http://www.officialhurricanesfanstore.com/authentic-jaccob-slavin-hurricanes-jersey/ .ca has you covered for whos in, whos out and what to expect from all 30 teams.EDMONTON - The Edmonton Oilers are no longer the only team in the Western Conference without a win.Taylor Hall had a penalty-shot goal and added an assist and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored the game winner in the final minutes as the Oilers finally found their way into the win column, defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 on Monday.Justin Schultz also scored for the Oilers (1-4-1), who had tied a franchise record for their worst start to the season before gaining the victory.Edmonton allowed the Lightning to tie the game with six minutes remaining in the third, but remained composed and captured the win.I thought tonight we really battled hard, said Nugent-Hopkins. They tied it late and we had a really good pushback, so it was really good to see.We all stayed pretty positive on the bench when they tied it. We know what we can do, we know that we could beat this team if we played our best. We stuck to it and it worked out for us.Oilers goalie Ben Scrivens made 22 saves in the Edmonton net.Tonight was one game, another step in the right direction, but those winning habits dont come overnight, he said. It takes a lot of repetition for them to be second nature and we have a long way to go, but this was a good step.Hall, Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle were often pitted against the Steven Stamkos line and were pleased to be able to hold one of the leagues best off of the scoresheet.Stamkos is a world class player, he showed that the other night in Vancouver, he took that game over, Hall said. Guys like that, Nuge, myself and Ebs, we really take pride in going up against stars like that and trying to play well against them. Tonight was a good show of that, so hopefully we can keep going head to head against these great players and doing well.Brian Boyle and Brett Connolly scored in response for the Lightning , who dropped to 3-2-1 on the season.We have to be better, said Lightning goalie Ben Bishop. We cant come out and play like this on the road and expect to win. We had too many breakdowns all over the ice. We showed some fight in the third, but it still wasnt even close enough to win in this league.Tampa Bay head coach Jon Cooper said it was hard to see which was the team that has struggled all season.Id say we looked like a winless club tonight, he said. In the third I thought we played desperate. If we had played that way in the first two periods, who knows how the game turns out. Martin Necas Jersey. In the end, we were playing a desperate team. They have had some breaks go against them this year and tonight they all went for them.The Oilers came close to starting the scoring seven minutes in as a Jeff Petry point blast eluded Bishop, but clanged off the post.It was Tampas turn to come close four minutes later as it appeared that Connolly had scored on Scrivens, however the goal was waved off after it was determined that Boyle had interfered with Scrivens in front of the net.The Lightning took a 1-0 lead on a fluke goal 1:22 into the second period when Boyle hooked a shot out front from behind the goal line and it hit Schultzs knee before rolling in past a surprised Scrivens.Schultz got the goal back three minutes later, however, as he took a give-and-go from the point before swooping in and beating Bishop on the backhand.Edmonton took a 2-1 lead with five minutes left in the second period after Hall was hauled down by Matthew Carle after being sprung for a breakaway on a long pass from defender Mark Fayne. Hall was awarded a penalty shot and made no mistake, putting it between Bishops legs for his fourth goal of the season.The Lightning had a solid chance to tie the game early in the third, but Scrivens came up with a quick glove save on a bullet from Vladislav Namestnikov. Eight minutes in Tampa Bay also had a shot that was heading into the net carom to safety off the leg of Valtteri Filppula.Tampa Bay finally drew even with six minutes left in the third period as Tyler Johnson found Connolly in the slot and he blew a shot past Scrivens to make it 2-2.However, Edmonton came back with 3:25 left on the clock as Eberle picked off a pass in the Tampa zone and fed it to Nugent-Hopkins, who beat a screened Bishop with a perfect shot to the top corner to give the Oilers the badly-needed win.I think if I can, thats one of my favourite spots to shoot, especially quickly, because the goalie cant set too much, said Nugent-Hopkins. Ebs made a really good play to knock the puck out of the air and he fed me in a high-scoring area.The Lightning play the third game of a five-game road trip in Calgary on Tuesday. Edmonton plays the third game of a season-high seven-game homestand on Wednesday as they welcome the Washington Capitals to town. cheap falcons jerseys cheap ravens jerseys cheap bills jerseys cheap bears jerseys cheap bengals jerseys cheap cowboys jerseys cheap lions jerseys cheap texans jerseys cheap colts jerseys cheap jaguars jerseys cheap chiefs jerseys cheap rams jerseys cheap dolphins jerseys cheap vikings jerseys cheap saints jerseys cheap giants jerseys cheap jets jerseys cheap eagles jerseys cheap steelers jerseys cheap 49ers jerseys ' ' '