Since the 2008-09 season, the goaltending situation in Los Angeles has been a gradual one. During that season, Jonathan Quick was only beginning to establish himself as the #1 guy for the Kings. However, that season, he was almost equally splitting duties with Erik Ersberg between the pipes. The rest, as they say, was history.
2009-10 was Quick’s year. Unfortunately, he may have been overplayed and, after 72 regular season games, it showed during the playoffs. During the summer of 2-010, though, head coach Terry Murray stated that Jonathan Quick was his team’s #1 guy in net. For anyone who thought that seasoned rookie Jonathan Bernier would contend for the starting job found out quite quickly (if you pardon the pun) that it was Quick’s job.
To Bernier’s credit, he did have a good campaign last season but the decision was based on nothing against Bernier but because Quick had played so magnificently early on that if Moses himself came down from a mountain wearing pads and a cage, even he couldn’t take the starting job away from the Milford, Connecticut, native.
As of right now, Jonathan Quick is the #1 guy again. However, that might not last. Quick and Bernier could battle it out early and, like last season, Quick will emerge victorious. But anything can change.
The plan for the coming season is for Murray to start Quick when the regular season opens up in a few weeks and from there, go with the hot hand. So, if Quick catches fire, it’ll be Quick’s job to lose. Should Quick struggle, it’ll Bernier’s to lose.
Speaking of the latter, the second-half of last season for Bernier was a turning point as he allowed two or fewer goals in nine of his last 11 starts. Murray was very happy with this and certainly has not overlooked his Bernier’s fine play down the stretch.
So, it’s Jonathan Quick again in the #1 spot but let’s not get too comfortable as, when his opportunity arises, Jonathan Bernier will be right there to step in when he needs to. This certainly won’t be a bad storyline heading into 2011-12.