Jonathan Bernier saw a rare set of back-to-back starts for the Los Angeles Kings this week and was impressive in both, getting the team two much-needed wins. With a 5-5-2 record the Kings appear to be turning things around and chose to give Jonathan Quick some rest. Bernier is now 2-1 on the season with a 2.08 goals against average, and it is quite possible that his trade value has never been as high as it is now. With many teams plagued by injuries in net and virtually no chance of Bernier taking the starter’s job from Quick permanently, the Kings might be wise to see what they can get for him at the moment.
The Kings defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday as Bernier stopped 12 of the 13 shots he faced. Helped along by a solid penalty kill that denied all four of the Blue Jackets’ chances, the Kings got goals from Kyle Clifford and Mike Richards to get the win. Bernier had been equally impressive on Monday against the St. Louis Blues, making 21 saves on 22 shots faced. A St. Louis offense that has two full lines of scoring threats could only manage one power play goal past Bernier and the offense took care of the rest. Jeff Carter had two goals for an offense that also seems to be finding its groove in the second month of the season.
Hopefully Bernier’s play can also get Quick back to the level he was at last year. Bernier only played in 16 games for the Kings last season but if the team isn’t going to trade him they should look at a tandem approach similar to what the Vancouver Canucks are doing with Cory Schneider and Roberto Luongo.