As my buddy Chris Kontos from the Royal Half wrote before the season started, most people expected Jonathan Bernier to be the Los Angeles Kings’ starter this season instead of Jonathan Quick. Instead, the American goalie Quick has soaked up W’s like hot cakes and seemed to be doing just fine until the birth of his first child. Perhaps that reduction in sleepy time and a Brodeurian workload is wearing on Quick because he’s been given a game off here and there.
In his wake, Bernier is showing us why he was a first round draft pick. In two games he has two wins, one shutout and a blinding 98.4 % save percentage. Anyone who follows stats will tell you that such a pace is completely unsustainable, but the goalie’s amazing re-introduction to the NHL does have some people wondering if he should be the Kings’ No. 1 goalie if the team makes the playoffs.
Kings GM Dean Lombardi was quick to dispel that notion today. He reached out to Craig Custance of the Sporting News’ Grinder blog to squash any notion of a goalie controversy.
When asked if there was any possibility of Bernier starting the playoffs as the Kings No. 1 goalie, GM Dean Lombardi was direct.
“None,” he wrote in an e-mail to SportingNews.com.
Quick is the goalie in L.A. He has been all year and that won’t change in the final weeks.
“Quick’s our No. 1 goaltender,” coach Terry Murray said. “There’s no gray area on that one. He’s going to jump back in the net in Anaheim.”
Even if Quick’s save percentage is a middling 90.7%, he’s still on the verge of the 40 win mark this season. He’s been a rock in net for the playoff hopeful Kings and I cannot blame them for standing by their man.
That being said, perhaps the Kings should end the charade of Erik Ersberg being anything but roster filler and bring the two Jonathans into the post-season. A goalie controversy that features two competent netminders is a good problem to have.