For all the talk of a struggling offense at times, one clear positive has been the Kings’ play in goal, and that includes both Jonathan Quick and Jonathan Bernier, who will get the start tomorrow against Washington. After some early-season bumps, Bernier has been more successful of late. He was the tough-luck loser in his last start, when he stopped all 25 shots in regulation and overtime but lost to Minnesota 1-0 in a shootout, and Bernier has allowed two or fewer goals in each of his last three starts, lowing his goals-against average from 3.26 to 2.84 in the process.
BERNIER: “I think, in my last three or four games, I’ve been feeling good, and going into the games feeling confident that I can do the job. That’s the biggest thing. If you feel good about yourself, and feel like you can stop anyone, then you have a good chance to succeed.”
The challenge for Bernier has been to adjust to not playing as often. In junior and in the AHL, Bernier regularly got at least two starts per week, but even now, when he’s been getting positive results, Bernier has appeared in only one game since Jan. 17. I asked Bernier if, during the season, he has learned any positive tricks, in terms of keeping himself sharp despite limited game action…
BERNIER: “At first, I was getting frustrated a little bit. I’m just trying to stay really positive. I think it’s been helping me. Obviously, if you start to be negative, it can start affecting your game, so I’m just trying to be as positive as I can. At this part of the season, it doesn’t matter who plays. Team-wise, we want to make the playoffs and I think everyone expects us to do good. And, as a team, we want to do good. So right now, it doesn’t matter if it’s me or Quickie. We just want to get the job done.”