Terry Murray: Jonathan Quick is my number one goalie this year

GYI0060272819-jonathanquick-stephendunn-getty.jpgThe fun part of training camp each year is that sometimes there’s going to be goalie controversy. You go into camp having a couple of players that are about equal and then try to judge what’s best for your team based around those couple of weeks of action. One such team that was poised for potential drama was the Los Angeles Kings. With 39-game winner Jonathan Quick the incumbent starter after a tremendous season, he was due to be challenged hard by prospect netminder Jonathan Bernier who dazzled Kings fans with his play in relief at the end of last season.

Kings head coach Terry Murray, however, wants absolutely nothing to do with any potential confidence-jarring drama and put all concerns to rest right away over who his man is in goal.

“In net, it’s going to be an interesting battle. Quick is our No. 1 guy, and we’ve got Bernier and Ersberg who are going to compete very hard for the No. 2 position. Clearly the organization is not going to carry three goaltenders, so as we get through the scrimmages and into the games, they will be watched very closely by everybody in the organization.

“There’s no gray area there. Jonathan Quick is our No. 1 goaltender. He’s going to play a lot of hockey this year. I just felt, as I mentioned at the end of the season last year, that maybe he got extended a little bit last year, playing 70-plus games. If I can get his numbers to a max of 60, say, or in the high 50s, and have our No. 2 goaltender getting into the rotation on a pretty regular basis. It’s very hard to play after a couple weeks of not playing. If I can get one game a week out of the second goaltender, I think it would be a nice rhythm to get ourselves into.”

Having Bernier almost ready to be a full-time NHL goalie waiting in the wings is a huge luxury for the Kings. After all, if Quick stumbles this year, Bernier will be right there either in the backup role or in AHL Manchester waiting for the call. The guy who’s in a bit of an awkward position is Erik Ersberg.

Ersberg was Quick’s caddy last year and didn’t get much of a chance to provide relief given Quick played in 72 regular season games last year. Ersberg did just about as well as he could in his 11 games, posting similar numbers to what Quick did in a vastly reduced role.

In his three starts with the Kings, Jonathan Bernier went 3-0-0 and allowed just four goals in his three starts, including a 34-save shutout against the Predators. Having a cup-of-coffee debut like that sure makes it tough for fans to forget you, especially when Quick appeared to be out of gas at the end of the season and the playoffs.

(Photo: Stephen Dunn – Getty Images)

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    BREAKING: Ben Bishop reportedly traded to L.A. Kings

    NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 01: Ben Bishop #30 of the Tampa Bay Lightning tends net against the New York Islanders during the second period at the Barclays Center on November 1, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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    The L.A. Kings have reportedly acquired goalie Ben Bishop from the Tampa Bay Lightning.

    That is according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie and TSN on Sunday.

    The news comes one day after Jonathan Quick returned to the Kings crease after a 59-game absence due to a groin injury and was solid in a winning effort versus the Anaheim Ducks.

    The Kings are three points out of the final wild card spot in the West.

    More to come.

    Video: More evidence Connor McDavid is really good at hockey

    DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 13:  Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers celebrates his first career NHL goal against the Dallas Stars in the second period at American Airlines Center on October 13, 2015 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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    Connor McDavid once again had that blazing speed of his on display. The latest victims? The Nashville Predators on Sunday.

    The sophomore star scored his 21st goal of the season and league-leading 70th point thanks to a beautiful individual effort, putting his Oilers back into a tie game at the time.

    McDavid picked up the puck just outside his blue line, accelerated to beat Roman Josi in the neutral zone, beat Ryan Ellis with a move and immediately snapped his shot home for the goal.

    Two more Canucks players showing symptoms of the mumps

    BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 11: Ben Hutton #27 of the Vancouver Canucks skates against the Boston Bruins during the third period at TD Garden on February 11, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Bruins defeat the Canucks 4-3. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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    There was good news and bad news for the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday, as the club deals with an outbreak of the mumps.

    First, the bad news: Head coach Willie Desjardins confirmed that forward Anton Rodin, defenseman Ben Hutton and trainer Brian Hamilton are now experiencing symptoms of the mumps.

    Initially, five players — Troy Stecher, Chris Tanev, Nikita Tryamkin, Mike Chaput and Markus Granlund — had been affected.

    The good news? Stecher, who had the first confirmed case of the mumps, was back on the ice Sunday for an optional practice, per the Canucks.

    The Canucks, nine points out of a playoff spot in the West, host the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday.

    The following day is the trade deadline, and the Canucks could be busy, with at least three players — Alex Burrows, Jannik Hansen and Ryan Miller — all mentioned as possible targets for other teams.

    Speaking to TSN 1040 radio on Friday, GM Jim Benning didn’t believe the mumps outbreak would impact his plans leading up to the deadline.

    Goalie Nods: James Reimer starts again for Panthers

    SUNRISE, FL - JANUARY 7: Goaltender James Reimer #34 of the Florida Panthers stops a shot by Patrice Bergeron #37 of the Boston Bruins during third period action at the BB&T Center on January 7, 2017 in Sunrise, Florida. The Bruins defeated the Panthers 4-0. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
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    Huge game in the Atlantic Division on Sunday night when the Florida Panthers host the Ottawa Senators in a classic four-point game.

    The Senators enter the night tied with Boston for second place in the division with 70 points and four points ahead of the Panthers. Florida will be turning back to James Reimer for the start as he gets the call for the third time in the past four games as Roberto Luongo takes a back seat for the moment.

    On Sunday, Luongo told George Richards of the Miami Herald that is the way it should be at the moment.

    “Right now I don’t deserve to be playing,” Luongo told Richards. “That’s the bottom line. For me, everything is about the team and us winning games. James Reimer gives us a better chance to win every night than I am. Until I figure my [game] out this is the way it should go I think.”

    Luongo has surrendered at least three goals in eight of his past 10 appearances, while Reimer is carrying a .927 save percentage in the month of February.

    The Senators will go with Craig Anderson on Sunday night.

    Elsewhere on Sunday…

    — In the early games it was Tuukka Rask vs. Kari Lehtonen in the Boston Bruins-Dallas Stars, while Brian Elliott went against Eddie Lack in the Calgary Flames vs. Carolina Hurricanes game.

    Cam Talbot makes his league-leading 56th start of the season for the Edmonton Oilers when they take on the Nashville Predators. No word yet from the Predators on their starter.

    — Big game in the Metropolitan Division when the Columbus Blue Jackets visit the New York Rangers. Sergei Bobrovsky goes against Henrik Lundqvist in one heck of a goaltending matchup.

    — With Corey Crawford under the weather Scott Darling will start for the Chicago Blackhawks when they host the St. Louis Blues on NBCSN. Jake Allen will go start the Blues.

    Louis Domingue will start for the Arizona Coyotes when they host the Buffalo Sabres. No word yet from the Sabres on their starting goalie, but the team did call up Linus Ullmark from the AHL before the game.