Earlier, I posted Bill Ranford’s thoughts on Jonathan Quick. Well, a big part of Ranford’s job involves also keeping tabs on Manchester’s two goalies, Jonathan Bernier and Jeff Zatkoff, both of whom are off to amazing starts. Bernier has the AHL’s best save percentage, at .953. What’s amazing is that his goals-against average (1.61) only ranks him fourth in the league. Hamilton’s Curtis Sanford is No. 1 at 1.40. Bernier has two shutouts in 11 games and a 7-3-1 record.
Zatkoff would rank even higher, but hasn’t played the required 240 minutes to crack the leaderboard. In four games, Zatkoff has allowed three goals (0.75 GAA) and has one shutout. His save percentage is an astounding .978 and he has a 3-1 record.
The goalies work both with Ranford and Kim Dillabaugh. Ranford said he gets video from all the Monarchs’ games and speaks with the goalies every three or four days about what he sees on video. Ranford will see the goalies in person later this month. Here’s what he said about them today…
RANFORD: “They’ve been a big part of the team’s success. They’ve been getting outshot, sometimes very badly, but I think it’s some really good goaltending and some timely scoring has led to a lot of success there. There’s been more talk about getting Bernier, getting goalie of the month and stuff, but Jeff has been equally as good for the team. The way I look at it is, both guys are giving the team a chance to win every night, and you can’t ask for anything more than that.”
I meant to mention, also, that Bernier stopped 26 of 27 shots Wednesday as Manchester beat Hartford 2-1. The goals came from Andrew Campbell (his first, from Loktionov and Moller) and Viatcheslav Voynov (his fourth, from Justin Azevedo and the Mighty Mikus).