NHL players frequently play through nagging injuries during the long season, and it looks like Jonathan Bernier will have to play through one of those injuries for now. The goaltender, who was placed on injured reserve retroactive to Oct. 31 with a lower-body injury, finally participated in a full Maple Leafs practice Wednesday but told reporters he is not quite 100 percent.
“That was really the first practice where we did some battle drills and I felt pretty good,” Bernier told reporters Wednesday. “Obviously I think I'm going to feel (the injury) for a while. I don't think you ever feel 100 percent but I feel good enough to play.”
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The good news for the Maple Leafs is their other goaltender, James Reimer, has been playing well in Bernier's absence. Because Bernier and Reimer were slated to platoon in net for at least the early part of the season anyway, the Leafs can take some of the load off Bernier by giving Reimer plenty of ice time.
Still, Bernier will want to impress the team's brass if he hopes to keep the equal time in net, as Reimer has been between the pipes for all of the Leafs' wins so far this season. Bernier, meanwhile, is 0-6-1 on the year.