If you’ve noticed — and something tells me some of you have — Jason LaBarbera has started 10 games in goal and played 537 minutes, 46 seconds, while Erik Ersberg has started zero games and played 65 minutes, 35 seconds. Calgary’s Miikka Kiprusoff and New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur, two of the NHL’s elite goalies, are the only other goalies to start all of their team’s games this season, but Brodeur will drop from the ranks Monday because of an injury.
LaBarbera has a 3.01 goals-against average and a .884 save percentage, numbers that hardly scream for him to stay in the lineup, yet there remains intense debate about how much of the blame LaBarbera deserves for those numbers. Terry Murray has been unbending in his support of LaBarbera, but Murray indicated today that it might be time for Ersberg to get a game. The Kings host the Ducks on Tuesday and the Florida Panthers on Thursday.
MURRAY: “I’m thinking about getting Ersberg in, yes. When is that? I’m not sure, but I haven’t lost sight of him. I’ve been watching his practices. He’s been staying hungry, he’s learning, he’s working with Billy Ranford, when he’s here, to establish a good foundation to his game every practice. I love his attitude and his work ethic and I’m not going to lose sight of that. He cares, he wants to play, but he’s been a very good professional about the whole thing and knows that right now he’s the backup goaltender, waiting for the opportunity. I know that when he gets that opportunity, he will be ready to go.”