Crawford quotes

“We were really pleased with our goaltending throughout the trip. I thought obviously Jonathan (Bernier) played extremely well. Jason (LaBarbera) played real well in Austria and there was nothing you could fault him for in the last game. There were two scrambles that we didn’t do anything to defend against. It’s as much the responsibility of the defender to clear out and not be trying to block shots underneath. Let the goalie do his job and make sure to take away sticks and take away opportunities from the sides that you can prevent, and I thought we didn’t do a great job of that the second game. Jason was kind of victimized by that. I think, of the four goals, he lost one that came off the boards. That one we don’t like to see. Hopefully he’s sharper on that. But apart from that we’ve been pleased how they’ve played.”

Crawford wouldn’t guarantee that Bernier is on the team at least through nine games: “I think we’re going to look at him and it’s going to be a day-by-day basis. It’s a situation we’re going to monitor. All you can do from his standpoint is to come out and play hard, work hard and keep complementing his game. He’s got a strong foundation — a real good base to always fall back on. He plays real strong in the center net. He moves really well. All the things, whether your 19 or 39, you’re always looking to do for a goaltender.”

On whether the next nine games are a test for Bernier to prove he belongs on the team for the season: “I think that every player is always tested to play well at the National Hockey League level. Certainly as they get older guys get a certain amount of leeway, but not really all that much.”

On what he’s looking for from Bernier to prove he belongs: “The same thing he’s been giving. We want him to continue to show competitiveness, continue to show poise, continue to show the dedication that he’s shown. He’s got to put a complete game. He finds pucks. He does a lot of those simple things that maybe look simple but he’s had a young lifetime of learning how to do these things and he’s putting them into play. He’s just got to continue showing it on a regular basis. That’s what our league is about.”

On younger players during trip: “I thought O’Sullivan was a dominant player the first game. I thought Brady Murray had some moments where he was very determined and showed a lot of spark and energy. Bernier was good the first game. Jack Johnson was pretty good both games. He had a couple points where he lost coverage and those are things we’ll continue working on with him. By and large, we’re satisfied with our group and will continue working with them.”

On Alexander Frolov: “I think Frolov will get better. He’s not playing at the level we’re used to seeing him playing.”

On the fluidity of the third and fourth lines: “We’re deeper this year for sure. Last year, I don’t think we had as many options, as many role players at the bottom of the lineup as we do this year. Those things will continue to aid us as we move on.”

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  • anthony

    I hope Crawford comes out with better line combinations this time.
    His combinations in game 2 was pathetic.
    Frolov didn’t seem comfortable playing with Armstrong & Calder. Zeiler did not compliment Handzus & Nagy. All he accomplished was slowing them down. I also noticed that on some body checks, he hit the ice rather than the opponent.
    Sully, should not be skating on the 4th line with Ivanans and Thornton.
    I was finally pleased when Crawford put him with Army & Calder and things started to roll.

    Anyone agree with these line combinations

    Zeiler and Ivanans could keep Cloutier and Klemm company in Manchester.

  • Daniel

    I agree, the lines need to be strong. Zeiler is a weak link. I still like:

    Thornton/Murray/Willsie or Ivanans

  • Andy Murray

    As retarded as Anthony usually is, he brings up a good point about the first line. I would like to see Brown out of there, replace him with Frolov or Osullivan.

  • gggbdfan

    I like Brown on the first line. You need a hitter on each line. Otherwise, the opponent will get more physical with Cammi, Kopitar and Frolov together on one line. The opponents checking line will be a little less anxious to hit Cammi and Kopitar knowing Brown is just strides away…..I hate to see Murray on the checking line, he has so much offensive potiential, but what can you do. I guess it comes down to “wait and see” on Nagy and Sully

  • NMKingsFan

    Great post Matt, gives us an insight into what Crawford saw from his players on the trip.
    Thanks for keeping us informed.