Forget Quick… It’s the return of Bernier vs Ersberg!

You read that right.

It’s just not for a spot on the Kings. Instead, they’ll square off at the IIHF World Championships in Slovakia.

With Canada looking to lock down the top spot in their pool on Monday, coach Ken Hitchcock has announced he’ll start Jonathan Bernier in goal for their final game of the qualification round.

Bernier picked up a 3-2 win yesterday vs. Norway, stopping 25 of 27 shots. It was his first game played in the tournament.

At the other end of the ice for his second game will be Erik Ersberg of Team Sweden. The former Kings goalie was in net when the Swedes lost their opening game of the tournament to Norway, 5-4 (via a shootout).

Sweden hasn’t lost a game since and Ersberg hasn’t seen any game action since. However, having already won their pool play, he’s being given another shot before the quarterfinals start mid-week.

In other news…

* Slovenia lost in the relegation round to Belarus by a final score of 7-1. They’ve now been dropped out of the main pool for 2012. Just like Kings fans wonder how the team would have done vs. San Jose had Anze Kopitar been in the line-up, hockey fans in his home country now wonder the same thing about the national team. (read more about Gasper Kopitar’s dreams for Slovenia here)

* Even though the U.S. had Sunday off, they still qualified for the quarterfinals due to Switzerland’s loss to Sweden. Team USA plays their final ‘qualification round’ game tomorrow vs. the Swiss – that game airs live on VERSUS at 7am PST. Jack Johnson continues to lead the team in ice time in most games…and is an even-player through five games (he was minus-21 for the Kings this season). He also leads the team with 18 shots on goal..

* Alexander Ovechkin made it to Europe in time for the game, but Russia lost to the Czech Republic 3-2 on Sunday. Jaromir Jagr had the second goal of the game for his country. Ovi was held pointless.

* Michal Handzus and Team Slovakia haven’t played well at all. Let’s just leave it at that. They’ll play Denmark Monday.  It will likely be the final game of Pavol Demitra’s international career.

Quarterfinal match-ups will be announced tomorrow night and played Wednesday/Thursday. Regardless of the outcome of Monday’s games, seven of the eight slots have already been secured by Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Russia, Sweden and the USA. Norway is the most likely eighth team. However, Switzerland has a slim chance at it.

[Monday morning update: Norway beat France earlier today to secure the 8th seed.  Switzerland will not advance to the quarterfinals, regardless of the outcome vs. Team USA.]

The Mayor
www.twitter.com/MayorNHL
www.facebook.com/MayorsManor

Recent Articles

REPLAY: Hoven on NHL Radio – Talking Vilardi, Brown, and Possible Trades To Make

Follow @mayorNHL
Enjoy a free replay of John Hoven on NHL Radio, where he joined hosts Scott Laughlin and Steve Kouleas to look at next season’s LA Kings line combinations, Tanner Pearson’s future, rookie Gabe Vilardi, forward Iyla Kovalchuk, Dustin Brown;s resurgence, a possible trade for Max Pacioretty, the Pacific Division favorite, and much more.
NOTE: […]

PHOTO GALLERY: LA Kings 2018 Draft Picks at Dev Camp

As the annual tradition goes, dozens of the Kings top prospects descended upon SoCal last week for an up close look at the team’s training facility, as well some hands on tutoring and evaluation with their extended coaching staff. It’s all part of Development Camp, which sets the tone for summer workouts and early expectations […]

REPLAY: Hoven on TSN Radio – Talking NHL Free Agency, Kings, VGK, and More

Follow @mayorNHL
Enjoy a free replay of John Hoven on TSN Radio, where he joined host Kevin Olszewski to take a look at NHL Free Agency, the Kings signing forward Iyla Kovalchuk, what Drew Doughty’s new contract means, other moves LA GM Rob Blake might look to make, what happens next with the Vegas Golden Knights, […]

Major News Items

LA Kings 2018 Mid-Season Top 10 Prospect Rankings: The Top Two

It all comes down to this. After an extensive journey through the LA Kings current prospect pool, we've finally arrived at the top two players in the rankings - including this year's highly coveted No. 1 spot. … [Read More...]

More Prospect News