Jonathan Bernier’s immediate focus will be on tonight’s game, of course, but Bernier is already getting his ticket requests in order for Wednesday, when he will start in goal at Montreal. Bernier is a native of Laval, Quebec, which is less than a half-hour drive from downtown Montreal, and Bernier will get to make the first “home” start of his career.
“It’s going to be a good challenge for me,” Bernier said. “A lot of family is going to be in, and I’ve heard it’s a loud building. I’ve been in that building, but on the ice I’ve heard it’s a great building to play in, so if I do go in, I’ll be excited to play, for sure.”
Terry Murray said was asked about the combination of excitement and pressure Bernier might feel, playing so close to home…
MURRAY: “Good, both ways. You’ve got to learn how to handle it. That’s the nature of our game. There is responsibility, there is pressure, there are big games, and that’s part of the process of growing up and becoming a top pro, is how you handle that stuff emotionally.”
For now, Bernier’s focus is on Buffalo, and on rebounding from Monday’s game, when he took the defeat in a gory 6-3 loss to San Jose. Bernier allowed all six goals, but most observers found little fault in Bernier’s play against the Sharks.
BERNIER: “I thought it was a pretty good game. I felt good in net. I felt confident, but it was one of those games where you don’t get those bounces, but you’ve just got to stick with it.”
Bernier will make his sixth start of the season tonight and will get the chance to get into a bit of a rhythm. Before the San Jose game, Bernier had played only once in the previous 18 days. Murray typically gives his backup goalie a heads up a couple days before a start, but I asked Bernier if he peaked at the schedule to try to predict when he might play…
BERNIER: “I just go day by day. I think it’s not as frustrating if you go day by day, and if you’re not playing, you’ve just got to do your thing and when you get the call, you’ve got to be ready for it.”