Bernier's task gets even tougher - LA Kings Insider

This isn’t exactly the ideal situation for Jonathan Bernier to be starting in goal. His last appearance in a game was 24 days ago, and tonight he will be playing in front of a Kings defense that is without two of its most veteran players, Matt Greene and Willie Mitchell. Those two have combined for 931 career NHL games. The six defensemen playing for the KIngs tonight have a combined total of 1,072 NHL games. Experience doesn’t count for everything, but the Kings certainly will need to pick up some slack, and Terry Murray said today that it’s not just limited to the defensemen…

MURRAY: “The key is going to be the forwards, in my mind. Everybody needs to be working hard and doing the right thing, that we have good gaps, good spacing. The pressure coming back is going to be important. When pucks are chipped in deep, we have to make sure that we have five together on the breakouts. If you get a little bit lazy coming back, the availability obviously breaks down. The passing lanes are not there, and that’s when there’s too much pressure coming at those young defensemen now. So it’s the importance of the tracker, of everybody working, coming back to home plate, stopping, a good checking attitude and a lot of communication. There needs to be a lot of talk, because of the sweeping pressure that Nashville throws at you. They have their legs moving constantly. It’s not a hard, physical forecheck. You have a couple guys, Tootoo is going to finish hard, but more it’s speed and sweeping, and now you’ve got to show some composure to deal with the kind of speed that they’re going to show.”

As for Bernier, well, it’s sink or swim time. He hasn’t been in a game since his Nov. 24 hometown letdown, when he and the Kings lost 4-1 at Montreal.

MURRAY: “I know he hasn’t played in a while, but you just say, `It’s your game. Go play.’ He’s got a lot of talent. We saw his game last year, in the American Hockey League, to be one of the best down there. He just needs to bring that same kind of focus, that same kind of game, here. It’s an adjustment, there’s no question. Everything is faster, harder, and he’s working his way through it. He’s going to be a good goalie.”

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Jake Muzzin

#6 | 6′ 3″ | 216 lb | Age: 27

Born: Feb 21, 1989
Birthplace: Woodstock, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Left


Muzzin was drafted in 2007 by the Pittsburgh Penguins, before signing to the Kings in 2010. He has since become the first Woodstock, Ontario professional athlete to win a major sports trophy.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.