Kings-Wild Preview with Jose Theodore

French Canadian goaltender. Debuted in the NHL as a teenager. Spent most of the next few seasons in the AHL. Finally arrived in the big show…with huge expectations. Perhaps even impossible to live up to.

Jonathan Bernier?

No, Jose Theodore.

Drafted by Montreal 44th overall at the 1994 NHL Entry Draft, expectations were huge right from the start. Come on, he was expected to one day replace Patrick Roy in net.

Eventually he left the Canadiens, making stops in Colorado and Washington before landing in Minnesota just before the start of this season. His primary job these days is backing up Niklas Backstrom. However, as I reported on twitter yesterday, he’ll get the start tonight vs. the Kings.

Here are some thoughts from him regarding the match-up…

MM: Having played most of your career in the East, the Kings are a team you’ve only played 12 times during 11-plus years in the league. Any thoughts about facing them?

JT: Well, they’re a good team. Look at the standings, they’re right there. It’s really tight. So, it’s going to be a fun game to play and it should be a really fast game.

MM: The Kings will start Jonathan Quick. Would it be any more interesting if they went with Jonathan Bernier instead?

JT: Not really. As a goalie, to do your job, you need to focus on just one thing – it’s stopping the puck I think. That’s the main thing. I don’t like to have any extra distractions. I think Bernier is a new guy in the league and obviously he’s trying to make a name for himself. He’s really talented. So, I wish him all the best and I’m sure he’s going to have a long career.

MM: Which Kings players are you going to try and mentally prepare for the most heading into the game?

JT: Obviously, I’ve played many years against Smitty (Ryan Smyth) and I played with him in Denver. So, I know he’s really good in front of the net, tipping pucks and stuff. He’s going to be in my face all night. But, that’s his game and he’s one of the best at it. They have a good team from what I’ve seen this year. They have a lot of skill.

MM: You’ve only played four games at Staples Center (2-2-0 record). Do you have any memories from the building at all?

JT: Actually, I think my first game at Staples Center, when I was 22 or 23, we began a road trip there. I ended up playing that first game and we got the win. Then, I went on a five-game winning streak. So, that always sticks out to me because it was the first time I got player-of-the-week and it started out here in a game against the Kings. So, that was a fun one for me.

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RELATED ARTICLE:

Game Preview with Patrick O’Sullivan – talking being waived, fans in LA, etc.

Game Preview with Andrew Brunette – talking Smyth, goalies, momentum, etc.

Looking Back with Jonathan Bernier – he talks teammates, family and his road to the NHL

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