Mar 1, 2013, 3:40 PM EDT
One of the biggest developments in LA’s recent surge — the Kings have won five straight and seven of eight — is who’s been between the pipes.
After a sluggish start to the campaign, Jonathan Quick has been platooning with Jonathan Beriner and, according to head coach Darryl Sutter, is now in a full-on battle for playing time.
“They’re competing against east other to see who plays the next game,” Sutter told the media Friday, prior to departing for Vancouver. “It’s not necessarily that they’re hot. They’re playing well enough to win the next game.”
Quick, the reigning Conn Smythe winner, received the lion’s share of work to start the season and was the goalie of record in nine of the first 10 games.
But after a 3-2 loss in Detroit on Feb. 10 that dropped LA to 3-5-2 on the year, Sutter shook things up.
Bernier got the call for the next two games and played well, recording a 4-1 win over St. Louis and a 2-1 win over Columbus.
That kickstarted a goaltending rotation — since the Blue Jackets win, the Kings have gone: Quick, Quick, Bernier, Quick, Quick, Bernier.
Bernier is a perfect 4-0-0 while Quick is 3-1-0 over the last eight games, and it’s the former that could be holding the advantage moving forward.
On Wednesday, Bernier stopped 32 of 33 shots in a 2-1 win over Detroit and was named the game’s first star. Afterward, Sutter was full of praise for his 24-year-old ‘tender.
“I don’t think we had much in the tank, to be honest,” he explained. “The goaltender was the difference in the game.”
This development is pretty interesting given Quick signed a monster 10-year, $58 million extension with LA in the summer.
Which begs the question — is it time for the Kings to trade Bernier?
- Report: Leiweke to head up Olympic bid in Los Angeles 9
- In praise of John Tavares 14
- It’s New York Islanders Day at PHT 26
- McDavid on teams possibly tanking for him: ‘It’s pretty crazy’ 19
- Fanspeak: Lemieux (stunner!) voted greatest Penguin in franchise history 39
- Under Pressure: Mike Johnston 17
- It’s Pittsburgh Penguins Day at PHT 33
- Captain no more: Sharks strip Thornton of ‘C’ 47
- Tank defense: NHL changes up Draft Lottery format 55
- Fanspeak: Clarke voted greatest Flyer in franchise history 40