As expected, there wasn’t much activity at the Kings training facility this morning. After practicing Sunday and playing on Monday night against the Predators, the skate was optional for most players. The usual cast of characters (i.e. non-starts) were present, of course. However, the most interesting tidbit is that it looks like goaltender Jonathan Quick will sit for a second straight night and Jonathan Bernier will get the call once again.
Coming off of his performance vs. Nashville, Bernier has now won five straight games – while only giving up one goal in each of those contests.
No doubt he was happy to get the win last night, but Bernier shared a feeling of ‘one got away’ after Gabriel Bourque scored with just seven minutes remaining in the game.
“It would have been nice to get that shutout,” said the 24-year old goalie.
Still, he tried to rationalize things and not make too big a deal out of it.
“That’s the game. He made the shot. Our team came out really strong again though. Scoring five goals in a game is not easy.”
No, it isn’t – especially when you consider the Kings had only scored one goal against Nashville over a pair of games played previously this season.
Seeing all those goals at the other end though was a bit confusing for Bernier.
“Sometimes you like to stay in the action, but it was kind of both ways,” he said. “They didn’t get too many shots on me and same with us. It was just that type of game…I (was) just trying to stay focused. Obviously when you don’t get too many shots, you’re just hoping you’re not going to get a break-away right away.”
The win also pushed his career record to 7-1 against Barry Trotz’ team. Yet, he didn’t offer many answers for why he’s been so successful against Music City’s favorite sons.
“With a goalie it’s all about confidence,” he said. “I guess I’m pretty confident when I play against Nashville.”
Whether he maintains that same level of confidence tonight against the Blues remains to be seen. For now, he’s just signing the same song as his coach.
“Obviously, with a short season, every game is important. We have to try and get as many points as we can at home, and be a great home team.”
Despite his strong play of late, don’t try to pull the ‘goalie controversy’ card on Bernier.
“I’ve heard that one for three years.” he said, with one of his big French-Canadian smiles.
“Every time Suttsy puts me in, I’ve just have to do my job. I’ve been very lucky that the guys put in front of me are playing well. It makes my job a lot easier.”
For the record, Bernier is 2-1 lifetime vs. the Blues, with a 2.34 goals against average. And the first game of his current five-game winning streak came on February 11 in St. Louis.
Prior to this season, the longest winning streak of his young career was three games.
Tonight he’ll go for six.
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