Jonathan Bernier is expected to arrive in Dallas at approximately 5 p.m. local time today. The question for the Kings is, what to do with him when he gets here? Play him tomorrow night in place of Jonathan Quick — who is home in Los Angeles preparing for the arrival of his first child — or make him the backup to Erik Ersberg?
Bernier, the Kings’ first-round pick in 2006 (No. 11 overall) has had a fantastic season in the AHL, with a 26-18-5 record, eight shutouts, a 2.08 goals-against average and a .937 save percentage. Bernier, appeared in four games with the Kings at the start of the 2007-08 season and had a 4.03 goals-against average and a .864 save percentage. Here’s what Terry Murray said about whether or not he would play Bernier tomorrow night…
MURRAY: “That’s what I have to decide, what I’m going to do now. I want to see him. I know he’s had a great year, one of the best in all of the goaltenders that are outside of the NHL. This might be an opportunity for me to get a look at him, for the team, and for him to come up and play. I’m going to think about it.”
Question: Does it help that Bernier has previous NHL experience, that he at least knows what it’s like?
MURRAY: “That does help a bit, absolutely. And that’s the nice about when young players go through that kind of a process, to get a couple games under their belt and see what the league is all about. They get some games and then go back down and get it all together and become what he is right now, a premier goalie in the American Hockey League. When the opportunity comes, like this, you’re prepared. So I’m aware of all that, and what he’s done, and I just need to think it out.”
Question: Any concern that he got pulled (from last night’s game, after giving up five goals in two periods)?
MURRAY: “I don’t care about that. Over the duration of this year, it’s been outstanding. He has put up great numbers and a tremendous work ethic, from all of the reports that I hear. It might be a time for him to play.”