As noted earlier, Jonathan Bernier will get the start in goal tomorrow night against New Jersey. It’s a very interesting decision made by Terry Murray, and one that took me back two years to New York. Early in the 2009-10 season, Quick stopped 28 of 29 shots in a win over the New York Islanders. That got Quick (and the Kings) off to a 4-1-0 start, but Murray decided, two days later, to give Erik Ersberg the start against the New York Rangers. Ersberg allowed four goals on 21 shots in a loss, the start of a three-game losing streak, and soon after, Murray said he regretted not starting Quick. Of course, Murray then went on to give Quick 72 games that season, and came under criticism for playing Quick too much.
Of course, the situations now are different. Bernier isn’t Ersberg, and Murray, it seems, has learned his lesson about overplaying his No. 1 goalie. Still, it will be interesting to see how this decision plays out in the short term. Here is Murray’s explanation for the goalie move…
MURRAY: “It’s because of a decision I made a couple days ago. I let Bernier know on Saturday. I let him know after Saturday’s skate. I wanted to get him prepared. I knew Sunday was going to be a day off, and it let him have an opportunity to get himself ready over the day off and come in today and get a good workout in. So we’ve got a lot of games coming up right now. The schedule starts to get busy, and we’ve got three conference games right after New Jersey. It’s an opportunity, out of the early part of training camp here, to get him going.’’
Question: And Quick’s shutout streak doesn’t influence that?
MURRAY: “Well, I made the decision before the game and I’m not going to change that. I’ve talked to Bernie about it, I’ve talked to Quicker about it, to let him know. I talked to him briefly about it. That’s the way it is. That’s the decision made.’’
Question: Did Quick try to talk you out of it?
MURRAY: “He’s very understanding that it’s the early part of the year and there’s a lot of games coming up that are huge games for us. He can’t play all 82, although I say, `Why not?’ sometimes. [laughs]’’