|Bernier at LA Kings camp (photo by: C. Ikiri)|
Last year, he finally arrived. Well, sort of – he went 11-8-3, with a 2.48 goals-against average as the designated back-up to Jonathan Quick.
Things may be changing though…even if it’s slightly.
After spending the better part of the last 18 months saying Quick was his starting goaltender, period-point-blank (exhibit one your honor), LA Kings coach Terry Murray appeared to soften his stance during training camp – expressing he’d be more willing to play the ‘hot’ goalie this year.
A few days later, I asked Bernier what he thought about Murray’s sudden change in direction.
“I just have to do my thing. Last year, he said he was going to go with the hot goalie close to the end of the season. Then, the coach changed his mind. Coaches who don’t change their mind, they’re crazy, I think. So, it’s a quick game and it can be a quick turnaround. If Terry has his mind set on something, for me, it doesn’t really matter. At the end of the day, I need to play the way I’m able to play and win some hockey games for my team.”
The reason this is all relevant today is because after just two games, Murray is likely faced with a tough decision. The Kings are now back in the U.S. and possibly still jet lagged from their trip to Europe. Even so, he’ll have to decide on a goaltender for Thursday’s game against the New Jersey Devils (and an offense that features Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk), plus another game on Saturday. That one will be in Philadelphia and there won’t be any hype needed, considering the big trade that went down this summer between the Kings and Flyers.
So, earlier today, we posed the question – if you were the coach of the Kings, which goaltender would you start against the Devils and the Flyers?
Cast your vote here and see how other Kings fans are responding to the question.
A summertime chat with Jonathan Bernier – we talk trade rumors, not playing in the playoffs and more