Maple Leafs lose Sparks, Spaling; Corrado will sit

Garret Sparks looks to be injured after this goal from Patrick Marleau, forcing Jonathan Bernier into the game early for the Maple Leafs.

Barring something else unforeseen, Jonathan Bernier will continue to work through his confidence at the NHL level through the holidays.

Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Garret Sparks, who left partway through Thursday’s loss to the San Jose Sharks, suffered an injury that will keep him out at least through Christmas, coach Mike Babcock told reporters.

Ditto Nick Spaling. The Leafs forward suffered an upper-body injury when Sharks captain Joe Pavelski fell on top of him during a face-off Thursday.

With Sparks and James Reimer both sidelined for at least another week, Bernier will assume starter’s duties and be backed up by Marlies call-up Antoine Bibeau.

The Maple Leafs host Bernier’s former club, the Pacific-leading Los Angeles Kings, Saturday.

Babcock also said much-discussed defenceman Frank Corrado would not play Saturday, though he liked his performance against the Sharks and Lightning — Corrado’s delayed Leafs debut.

“That’s my excitement as an athlete, being in the lineup and playing hockey. It’s pretty cool being out there wearing the Maple Leaf,” Corrado told Brady & Walker Friday. “Every day I was waking up, going to the rink with an open mind. Learn today and try to get better.”

Corrado skated 8:10 Monday versus Tampa and 12:09 against San Jose, totaling one assist and two shots on net in his two-game look.

Toronto sits at the bottom of the Atlantic Division.

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