January 6, 2011 12:00 pm

Bernier hopes to emulate McLean (sort of)

Jonathan Bernier will start in goal tonight for the Kings against Nashville and will look to continue a remarkable run of success against the Predators. Bernier has three career starts against Nashville, all in the 2010 calendar year, and is 3-0 with a 0.67 goals-against average and a .978 save percentage. Bernier recorded his first (and, so far, only) NHL shutout when he stopped 34 shots against Nashville on March 30, 2010. Then, this season, Bernier stopped 25 of 26 shots on Nov, 6 at Staples Center and stopped 29 of 30 shots on Dec. 18 at Nashville. By contrast, Jonathan Quick faced Nashville three times last seas, went 0-3 and allowed three goals in each game. Terry Murray was asked if he considers a goalie’s success against a particular team when determining a starter…

MURRAY: “Absolutely. I had a goalie who was a backup goalie when I was coaching in Florida, and he had never lost to the Philadelphia Flyers. Kirk McLean. He never lost. The first time we went in there, he hadn’t played in, I don’t know, six months maybe. Maybe six weeks. [laughs] But I put him in and he won. It was unbelievable. So I made a mistake. I talked about him postgame, and who do you think traded for him in the offseason? The New York Rangers. But I do look at the career record, absolutely. You look at it, probably, from all players’ aspects. You can see that there are pretty decent numbers that some players pile up against other teams. What’s the reason? I don’t know the answer to it, but it does happen.”

Well, at the risk of besmirching the good name of Kirk McLean, Murray overstated things a bit. McLean had a 7-4-3 record against the Flyers when the Panthers acquired him. McLean did indeed win his first start for the Panthers against Philadelphia — 3-2 on April 9, 1998 — but then lost to the Flyers a week later and went 1-1 against them the following season.

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