-Since his five-game winning streak began, I haven’t really found anything in Jonathan Bernier’s game to call into question. He has been very good, and was again last night. It’s something that I wanted to discuss with Bill Ranford, as I generally rely on a simplistic approach to evaluating a goaltender (ie: what is his save percentage? Is he leaving pristine rebounds available? Is he “fighting the puck”?). Beyond that, the nuances of goaltending aren’t as easy for me to pick up from upstairs. That said, Bernier again made critical saves at important parts of the game. The Kings allowed a Grade-A scoring chance within the game’s first 45 seconds as Roman Josi was allowed to skate unimpeded into the high slot and unleash a crisp shot up high that Bernier never fought off. He stopped it. There was no available rebound. Play was whistled dead. The trajectory of the game obviously would have taken a completely different course if Bernier hadn’t made that save.
To provide more accurate analysis of Bernier’s performance, I consulted with Goaltending Coach Bill Ranford at this morning’s skate.
Bill Ranford, on Jonathan Bernier’s recent performances:
“I think as we came out very slow in the first periods in not really creating a whole lot, he just made the big save at the right time and played a very composed game. On nights where it goes well, it looks good. On nights where it doesn’t, people talk about it, that it doesn’t look like he’s trying. He just plays a very composed game and keeps it simple.”
Ranford, on Bernier stopping the early Roman Josi shot:
“He got into a good position early and got his eyes on it and controlled the rebound, and that’s the sort of thing you need early on in a game. I think in the second period once we got the great hop for the go-ahead goal, he was solid…Fortunately our team got her going in the third and kind of put the game away.”
Ranford, on Bernier’s positioning, rebound control and staying square to the shooter:
“That’s kind of the style he plays. He’s a little bit of more of a hybrid than most guys out there. He plays a little bit more stand-up style than butterfly, and with his size – he’s not 6’7 – he relies on his positioning and his patience. When he’s at the top of his game, you really notice those two areas.”