For those not familiar with my previous work on the Daily News blog, the “player evaluations” are a usual end-of-season feature, in which I’ll give a brief rundown of each player’s season, from my perspective, and then open it up to everyone to comment and “grade” that player’s season. We’ll take all of the players who appeared in at least one game with the Kings this season, and we’ll do a few per day until all have been discussed. It’s alphabetical order, but it’s almost fitting, in a way, that we would start here…
This season: 3 games, 3-0-0 record, 1.30 goals-against average, .957 save percentage.
The good: Well, a lot. Twice, the Kings called up Bernier for a road game and he flew in from the East Coast the night before the game. The results? He beat Dallas 2-1 in a shootout and beat Nashville 2-0. Then, two nights later, he helped the Kings record their only regular-season win over the Canucks in an 8-3 romp. Bernier looked poised and confident, and in the AHL, where he spent most of the season, he was named Goalie of the Year and has the Monarchs on a playoff run.
The bad: Bad? Bernier started three games and won all of them. Even in the game in which he allowed three goals, he shutout the Canucks for the first 32 minutes and didn’t give up a goal until the Kings led 5-0.
Going forward: It’s about to get very, very interesting. Terry Murray made a point of saying, two days after the end of the season, that Jonathan Quick is his No. 1 goalie, but if Bernier looks as strong, in training camp and preseason, as he did this season, the Kings are going to have a very difficult, but good, situation on their hands. It’s all up to Bernier at this point. His play will dictate how closely the Kings have to evaluate their goalie situation next season.