We should have gone with Lopes over Quick, he was undefeated in Manchester and had a much better save percentage than Bernier.
You're also saying squarely that Bernier is THE goalie. There will be no other. The reins are now indisputably his. And the season as it played out was merely a placeholder in the march toward the Bernier Era. How's that as far as what was "owed the fans and the team"?
Those actions imply that because when push comes to shove, you're saying you have zero confidence in the guy. Much as Murray showed regarding Ersberg when he yanked him after only 13 minutes in game 5 after having previously yanked Quick. Which also goes to show you that no way Ersberg was getting serious time down the stretch, so no way was he gonna start in the playoffs.
If anything, you have to see how the guy plays. Maybe he jumps up and DOES stand on his head. Or maybe he takes the loss and learns something from it in the offseason. His reaction to that loss, in fact, all of the kids' reactions to that loss, will tell you an enormous amount about their characters and their willingness and ability to improve. You yank Quick, you don't get to see what he's made of, you probably STILL lose the series, and then you have to wonder about how you handled the Bernier situation - namely by handing a guy the reins in the biggest circumstances and naming him as the MAN after having done very little on the NHL level at all, and after trying to pound into him the lesson that he's not entitled to anything over the last 3 years.
His save % from Game 1 to Game 6 fell dramatically.
.932 & .923 in the first 2 games and I was hopeful he had pulled out of his late season slump and we all had visions of a 1st rd upset.
But once the focus and pressure mounted-
.893 followed by .861 followed .808 culminating in a final .857.
To use a baseball analogy-would you stick with a pitcher who had 1 win in his last 10 starts with am ERA over 4.00
including playoff losses when your guy in AAA had a winning streak and an ERA over 2.50?
I like Murray but he played it by the old style book and the predictable results speak for themselves.
This doesn't have anything to do with feelings, it's about testing your assets. For the Kings right now, the goal is to continue progressing. Getting into the playoffs was the next step, and the step after that is to see how the players perform in that situation. The goal of this offseason is to learn from the mistakes of the playoffs and then apply those lessons in the coming season.
This team was not a Cup contender last season. They simply got the opportunity to play for it. And jumping at and committing whole-heartedly to any sniff of progress will take the organization down an all too familiar path.
So you play the kid who brung you there to see how he reacts. We got that answer. Now we see how he comes back from it. It's how you evaluate young players.
Let's use TM as an example - he rarely ever played Ersberg this season, even when it seemed like the perfect/obvious time to use your backup. What do his actions imply? That he has little to no confidence in his backup goalie. Does he ever SAY, "Ersberg sucks and I want to use him only if I'm forced to due to injury or some other kind of catastrophe?" No. But he's saying it (and in the playoffs SCREAMS it once) all the same.
By the way - how many big NHL games has Bernier won?
And on top of that, how do you finally hammer home the lesson of patience in a teenager who thought he was NHL ready to be a #1 in 2007?
See, here's essentially the problem -if you think that by making the playoffs, the Kings were done building and that they're now contending, then you're way off. This team is still at LEAST one more year away from being a real Contender. Until then, it's still about lessons and progress and building. The work ain't done yet, and if you lose sight of that too soon, then you're taking steps backwards.
I beg to differ on the progression mindset. Quick stumbled the last 20 games and they had no problem giving Bernier some starts during that time. The team brought you there not the Goalie by himself. When any player is struggling they can be benched or replaced by another player for the good of the team. See Frolov getting benched, Williams being benched, etc.
They forced the issue of having him play and it had a negative affect on the results of games. The playoffs are the perfect time to see what all players bring to the table, not just one. Not giving a start to anyone else after 2 back to back subpar games wasn't a positive for the team.
Bernier is a young player too and experience is just as important for him. If you can't see the difference in Bernier since 2007 then you are going against the all of the statements the Kings Management have made. They all said he learned from what happened and realized what he has to do. That point has been stated many O times by management and it showed in how he played.
Look, as it was, both goalies got playoff experience. And they both got it as the starter for the teams they'd played for the entire season.
And you're right, it's about the TEAM. The TEAM sucked and by game 5, the series was still TIED at 2. THAT's when you wanna change goalies?
Then the TEAM went and got shelled in a pressure situation, Quick included, and they had the lead going into the 3rd of game 6 before the TEAM buckled again. Same goes for game 4. If they were able to get any shifts going on the forecheck or were able to get out of the zone more effectively for one period, the series goes back to Vancouver. Those factors don't change just because another goalie's in there. They had those forecheck and breakout problems all series.
Meanwhile, Bernier's in the AHL, leading his team into a deep playoff run, learning the lessons that the organization has been trying to give him for years - team, controlling ego, leadership. That's a responsible parent teaching a child that no matter how much you cry, you'll only get what you want if I give it to you and the only way I'll want to give it to you is if you stop crying. So stop crying. (the kid, not you, poster who I'm replying to)
Oh, and speaking of kids, how do you think the Monarchs woulda fared with their backup leading them through the playoffs? Those Clifford goals? Bud Holloway, playoff hero? You wanna throw them to the wolves so you can still end up losing a series in the NHL?
The ORGANIZATION needs to progress, and that includes the farm team getting the chances to get their guts checked, too.
What's ludicrous is to jump the gun for no reason when you're 99% certain to see Bernier get a good shot at some NHL time this coming season anyway. Yeah, maybe he comes in and outplays Quick and takes over in camp. Maybe he's the starter that takes the Kings down the stretch to a better playoff spot and subsequent run. Bernier's gonna get a good, long look this season anyway, so why waste the chance to see what Quick's made of? Especially if you have so many other long term reasons to do it.
These are young goalies and they both need to be tested and re-tested before the organization has to pick one and only one to be THE MAN for the next decade. And maybe it's not even one of these guys. But you have to give them both looks, let them do what they're gonna do and THEN decide for the long-term good of the organization.
As for that Vancouver series, the first in almost a decade... F*** it. Play your best, sure. Try to win, of course. But use it. Learn from it. And from there, you take the next step. As a player. As a team. As an organization.
Long term, guys. We still have to think long term.
The year was 1993 and after the Kings were eliminated we were all bummed....but little did we realize how many years would pass before us making the playoffs much less the Cup.
Epilogue-You never know what is going to happen in the future, especially when you are the LA Kings. If you dont maximize every opportunity and use every tool in the shed to maximize your chances youve played a foolish round of poker.