Number 45 was supposed to have significant meaning to the Kings this year.
Only seven players in the 40-plus year history of the franchise have worn that number on their jersey. Of that group, just one had any sort of prominence – center Sandy Moger in 1997-98. And ‘prominence’ is definitely too strong of a word.
Jonathan Bernier was to change all of that this season.
He was to have a coming out party between the pipes like nobody in this town has ever seen. The only question some people seemed to have was how long would it be before he took over the starting goaltending job from the other Jonathan, Quick.
Well, plans change.
Coach Terry Murray has taken an eraser to his “penciled in” goaltending schedule and looks to be going with the vintage “Play Quick A Lot” approach from a season ago. So far, it’s working.
Yet, while Bernier sits idle, the Kings toasted a new ’45′ last night. They killed off their 45th straight power play at home before giving up a late third period score to the Flames.
No problem, the streak stops at 45 and the number’s good name has been restored.
There’s still time for Bernier. Until then though, 45 can be associated with an awesome ride by the penalty kill.
Besides, how fitting was it that the streak was broken by a former King, Olli Jokinen. Like Bernier, when drafted he was thought to be the future of the franchise. Instead, he was traded for Ziggy Palffy after a little more than one season with the team.
Perhaps equally as fitting was having the game winning goal come from Anze Kopitar – the guy who’s ended up becoming that franchise center that Jokinen was never given the chance to be in LA.