Ersberg starting in goal. Yes, really

Terry Murray announced after today’s practice that Erik Ersberg will start in goal Tuesday against the Ducks.

“Coach told me I am going in tomorrow and that is all I really needed to know,” Ersberg told LAKings.com. “This is my first start of the year, I am going to focus on this game and try and get a win. I am excited.”

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  • Anonymous

    please please keep him in as long as he plays well also.

  • David

    Let’s hope Ersberg can stand on his head and steal a few games for us.

    It’s good to see that we’re dead last AGAIN in the Western Conference.

    The futility this franchise has put it’s fans through is freaking feigned!

  • JDM

    Woo hoo! I’m confident he will show us what a number 1 is supposed to play like. Here’s hoping…

  • Someone

    Good to hear. I’ve been OK with TM playing Barbs a lot. After all, that is how you get a goalie confident, and without confidence, how can you really evaluate his talent?

    That said, after the Calgary game, it became apparent that Ersberg needed a start. Barbs needed to make the save on the 3rd goal. There were other breakdowns that lead the the scoring chance, but he completely misplayed that shot and at that point in the game and in that circumstance, he has to make that save.

    I’ll be cheering for Ersberg and hoping that the Kings not only play good enough to win, but actually win!

  • Chewy Rocky Horror

    Labs = Storr. Let’s hope Ersberg does not = Passmore.

  • SAPPER1

    Okay, I am trying to be a faithful Kings fan but it is getting harder and harder every game. I wish Murray would trade Brasd richardson if he is not going to play him. He is to good of a player to be sitting he is by far the best faceoff guy the Kings have. Also if given a chance he can put the puck in the net.

  • Nick

    Yes! This is what I’ve been waiting for! Too bad i have to work :(

  • Nick

    Yes! This is what I’ve been waiting for! Too bad i have to work :(

    Show us what you got Ersberg!

  • Anonymous

    I know terry murray’s master plan, he can’t fool me.

    By starting Ersberg on the same day as election day, he guarantees that even LESS people will see Ersberg kick butt. Therefore, if nobody sees him play, Terry Murray can tell everybody that Ersberg played poorly, even if he performs well. Thus, he can go back to his obsession with labarbera, and also quiet some of the detractors who have been begging Ersberg to get “just one start.” Buckle up guys, we’re in for 15 straight games of labs after this.

  • Kevin

    “Coach told me I am going in tomorrow [...]”

    Call me cynical, but this doesn’t exactly mean that he’s going to start. It could just mean that TM plans on using Ersberg in the game tomorrow, but could start LaBarbera.

  • Rich Hammond

    He’s starting.

  • Anonymous

    Someone – confidence has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with Ersberg not getting even one start yet. It is Terry Murray’s obsession with labarbera. Like Rich said, the only other goalies to start ALL their games thus far are Kiprusoff and Brodeur, and by the time the Kings play on Tuesday, it will be only Kiprusoff. And no, no matter how much labarbera supporters want to spin things, he does NOT belong in even the same breath as those guys. the notion that he can only perform well if he plays a bunch of games is a load of crap if you ask me. this is the nhl, the elites, if you can’t perform, then go home.

    don’t you find it just a bit peculiar that terry murray is screwing with the lines every single game, and yet the most inconsistent player on our team gets a free pass?

  • Silence Dogood

    Ersberg’s first start is against the Ducks. In light of how the Ducks have been playing — he is getting a baptism of fire.

    Go EE!

  • anthony

    Why,
    Maybe TM wants to start winning for a change.
    I wonder what’s gonna go through his pea brain if Ersberg does better than Barbs. His brain might not be able to handle it.

  • ReggieMoto

    OK, you’re friggin’ cynical.

    You must’ve gotten so worked up over the fact that Ersberg is finally getting to start a game that you elided the quote you were searching for: “This is my first start of the year…”

  • stepa

    Rich can You help please stop sideview camera thank you.

  • J-Ro

    I just wish we still had Garon! That was a mistake letting him slip away. We wouldn’t even be having this conversation.

  • cristobal

    Anonymous -

    Anyone who doubts that a netminder needs a good team in front of them to make them confident should look up Patrick Roy’s career regular season stats. He was born in ’65, drafted in ’84 at about 5?th overall.

    In 84-85 he played with the Granby Bisons of the QMJHL and had a 5.55 GAA over 44 games.
    In the same year he had one game in the AHL (4 GAA) and one game in the NHL (0 GAA).
    In 85-86, 21 years old, he played 47 games (3.35 GAA) for The Habs.
    Then in ’86-’87 he broke through and posted a 2.93 GAA, and in ’87-’88 was 2.90 GAA with a save PCT. of .900.

    Think Martin Brodeur is God? Take a peek at his numbers before going to New Jersey.
    GAA in 3 consecutive years with Saint-Hyacinthe Laser – 4.01, 3.30, 3.39.
    In ’92-’93 Brodeur had a 4.03 GAA in 32 games with the Uttica Devils.
    The next season, 1 year before the Devils won their first Cup, this same Brodeur posted a 2.40 GAA over 47 NHL games.

    Labs played 45 games last year and had a 3 GAA and a .910 save % – on the Kings.

    Quit crucifying the guy and show him some respect. If not for a plethora of mistakes the Kings would be in a much different position. He may not be P. Roy, but none of these guys look good behind poor teams. The Kings have miles to go before anyone is going to look like an elite in net. The only criticism we should be making is that Labs needs to start tearing into his own team for the mistakes.

  • Maverick

    The sad thing is the Ducks are coming into this game doing well and pretty confident. If they walk away with a win here TM is going to blame Ersberg as he does with any of this other players after a loss (though maybe his goaltending ignorance will step in and he will forget about the goalie) and then benches him for another 10 games for it. TM seems like the show me in 60 minutes or I demote you to fourth line for 3 games kind of guy…

  • Anonymous

    Well I got tickets to this game but I am not getting over excited because were playing a quackers team that has been on fire. Hopefully he plays well though.

  • Anonymous

    cristobal, if you’re going to be a labarbera apologist, at least bring up fairer comparables, not current/future hall of famers. the one big difference between our goalie and those goalies, is they had the tools, the physical and mental gifts not all netminders have, and the potential to be amazing. develop them, and they WILL be good, hence the #1 draft picks. that’s why bernier went so high, that’s why doughty went so high, get it?

    nevermind, you’re right, labarbera is a GREAT goalie. for every single one of our goals, he was hung out to dry by our defense. nevermind that every defense on every team makes a couple mistakes a game, nevermind that we have the second best shots against average in the entire nhl. those are just numbers anyways, what can they tell us?

  • Saevel

    About time.. Seriously.

    I guess LaBarbera’s stats finally can’t be ignored. He never was and never will be a starter. Time to accept it maybe..

    As we’re in rebuilding mode though, I don’t REALLY care about that. What enrages me is that Ersberg, a goalie with such promise, isn’t even given a chance. Nice reward for the great way he ended last season..

  • 28 KINGS

    So when our season savior Ersberg flops who gets the blame? There are some bigger issues on this team than Labs play in net.

  • Cynic

    1st – The press is telling us Ersberg is starting tomorrow. Since the press typically stretches the truth more than they report it, I’ll believe it when I see it. (LOL)

    2nd – Labarbara = Checkmanek and Ersberg = Knickle (For now). That’s Rick Knickle from 92-93 & 93-94. Look here for his stats: http://www.hockeygoalies.org/bio/knickle.html If this doesn’t basically mirror what Ersberg has done so far…Rick didn’t last too long either.

    3rd – If TM has a stiffie for LaBarbara then all the line changing he is doing must mean he has a similar stiffie for Crawford too. I don’t buy it. I don’t like the line changing, but he gets paid to figure these thing out. It’s better to tinker now early in the season than to do it after the all star break. I just hope he figures it out by December.

    I believe he should put the 1st line together of Kopi/Brown/POS and leave them alone. Shift the line as a whole up and down if you want, but don’t jack up that chemistry. Let them live and die by the sword as a unit. The triple crown line did this at times and they were better for it. The LAPD line became brilliant and dominate in the league because of this philosophy for their short run. It works. The rest, tinker away, but build the future of our first line and don’t tear it apart.

  • Chirs Bond

    Dont know if I am spelling this right but HAAAALLLLAAALLLLUUUUYYYYYYAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

  • neil

    Someone..anyone…..please tell me that Fox has heard our voices and WILL NOT be doing ringview tommorrow…

  • cristobal

    Anonymous – It doesn’t matter if a team give up only 18 shots if 3 of them are prime goal scoring chances. I’ve never said Labs has all the tools to be elite, but if you look at guys that are elite and their numbers are horrible until they get on an elite team doesn’t it say more about the team than the netminder?
    I’m all for Ersberg getting a chance to be the difference in net, but if the results are the same what then? More abuse from fans who want a goalie that camoflages the mistakes of the team?
    You said it’s not about confidence, but Labs looks worse than he initially did 4 years ago in terms of his technique. Maybe the goaltending coaching is a problem.

    I’m not so much an apologist. I just think the antagonism directed at Labs is lacks class and is unfair. Then again, I’m sure there are plenty of individuals who feel I lack class, too. Maybe they’re correct. I’m sure Labs is doing his best, though, and he’s not the one responsible for stripping this team down to it’s foundation. I can deal with the losses because I think the team will only get better if they learn that they can’t make HUGE mistakes and expect to win. I also find it hard to criticize a goalie for failing to stop a point blank shot from a proven NHL goal scorer like Langkow.

  • JonG

    Rich,

    I’d love to get your thoughts on why Terry Murray has juggled the lines so much and why he has resisted using Ersberg until the point. From a fan’s perspective it seems like he is pulling names out of a hat, but I have no doubt there is a method to his (apparent) madness.

    Perhaps a few words from Dean Lombardi would help as well, since presumably Murray and Lombardi are communicating on these issues.

  • Cynic

    Neat story about Rick Knickle. His rights at one time were sold for $1 in the IHL. No kidding. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F0CE6D71430F933A25750C0A965958260 Just thought I’d pass it along after my comments.

  • Chirs Bond

    Let me say this Barbs is not that bad he is just not that good, He is unable to make that “Infamous Timely Save”. Ersberg better be ready or we are all going to eat our words. I would rather see One of the 2 Jonathans and them get some experiance then watch
    JLB lose over and over……Do yall agree?????

  • Paul from Oxnard

    I was going to post how glad I was that Ersberg is going to finally get a start. Then I read Cristobal’s post comparing LaBarbara to Brodeur & Roy, and I’m SO STUNNED, I can’t even type anym

  • Chirs Bond

    Last thing…..If we are all about Defense and that is how we are going to win games and only score 1 or 2 goals we are in trouble. We need the run and gun game here with our situation. We dont have a good enough goalie to win the 1-0 game period. We can win the 4-3 games if it is Ball to the wall hockey. Think about when the Kings start to score like they use to, with this little bit better Defense….There is hope. With the D first system of TM I feel it is effecting Browie and Kopi…..At least Boyle is here he better step it up or he is GHOST.

  • cristobal

    PaulinOx – Yes, it is stunning how pedestrian those goaltending legends were before they joined Stanley Cup caliber teams.

  • Dolly

    I agree with Cristobal.

    I was impressed with TM giving the “#1 Goalie” title to LaBarbera. His stats were never too bad before this year or earlier this season. He clearly has been rattled by some of those “backdoor” goals let in by, yes, poor defensive coverage (listening Greene?) AND bad turnovers (listening Preissing, Gauthier, etc.?) His stats have been slipping.

    So, we need to try something else. I was very impressed by Ersberg’s run towards the end of last year and I really hope he can do the same now. If it doesn’t work out that way, let’s try to support whatever Goalie who ends up behind this team without being such “fair weather” fans.

    Garon is getting a lot of love in Edmonton right now. He has a .895 SV%. When he last played here, he had a .907 SV%. LaBarbera had a .910 SV%.

    Nobody on our team deserves the #1 label right now.

  • Not Impressed

    Maybe Muarry’s strategy is to have a below average goalie in there long enough to teach the team about team defence. Now that they get it, he puts the #1 goalie in. Many teams start getting sloppy on team defence because they know the goalie will come through. I hope that’s what’s happening…

  • brianguy

    his numbers are not great, but what is to be expected, he doesn’t even have a start to his name yet.

    let’s assume he can’t ever establish himself as #1, even if Labs does go on to stank it up. I still, feel more positive about goalie by committee than 60 games of Labs. 3 wins in 10 games when we’ve played well enough to win 4 or 5 is pretty shabby.

    I just love the guy’s attitude (do what “coach” says) and his cool as a cucumber demeanor on the ice and off. it’s really works for me as a fan

    BEAT THE DUCKIES!!!!

  • BigA

    lol at anyone using QMJHL stats from the 1980s in an effort to show a goalie’s past abilities (or lack thereof). It was a slighly… yes, just slightly higher scoring league and era than the contemporary NHL. Zero defense and minimal hitting, for starters.

    Labs is an average goalie. Whether his save percentage is 905 or 870, he’s an average goalie. He has weaknesses that I see every game. If he’s our number 1, then fine, he should get most of the starts, but EE still needs to play at least once every week and a half or so to stay fresh.

  • brianguy

    “I just wish we still had Garon! That was a mistake letting him slip away. We wouldn’t even be having this conversation.”

    I think you misspelled Huet…

    Huet, Legace, Garon (in that order) are the ones that make me shake my head.

    for a franchise that has never had a rock solid goalie in net outside of Rogie, and to a lesser degree and spurts of Hrudey et al, and why does every decent #1 goaltender slip through our hands? and every Kings fan KNOWS IT AS IT IS HAPPENING, yet it still happens.

    well all I can say is, hopefully we have a front office who has figured that out and it never ever is allowed to happen again.

    and in the meantime, let Ersberg do his thing, steal us a few wins, and let Labs actually make a game-saving stop one time. thank you, God…

  • Kings4K3

    Unfortunately, TM sort of backed himself into a corner from the beginning of the season by saying that Labs was going to be the No. 1 goalie and that he was going to get him into a lot of games because, “Labs likes to work a lot of games…The more games he plays, the better he feels” Duh, what else is a goaltender going to say? “I don’t want to play too many games, coach…”? By TM claiming that Labs was going to get in his 60+ games, he basically now has to stick with that theory, otherwise his word is worthless. He’s been saving face at the expense of the team’s record, just to prove a point.

  • deadcatbounce

    David said:

    “Let’s hope Ersberg can stand on his head and steal a few games for us.

    It’s good to see that we’re dead last AGAIN in the Western Conference.

    The futility this franchise has put it’s fans through is freaking feigned!”

    David, what kind of Kings fan ar you, anyway? Look at this team’s rich tradition of winning over the past 40+ years! They are winners! I know this because Cristobal told me so.

    And, Cristobal, The Q is a scoring league and goalies typically have a much higher GAA than goalies in the OHL or WHL. Then again, what do I know…

  • BringBackKingston

    so what’s the big deal about this dude name Roy??? Even Brian Hayward (yes, that Hayward) had pretty much the same stats to Roy.

    86-87 GP GAA W L T Pct
    Brian Hayward 37 2.81 19 13 4 0.893
    Patrick Roy 46 2.93 22 16 6 0.891

    87-88 GP GAA W L T Pct
    Brian Hayward 39 2.86 22 10 4 0.896
    Patrick Roy 45 2.90 23 12 9 0.900

    88-89 GP GAA W L T Pct
    Patrick Roy 48 2.47 33 5 6 0.908
    Brian Hayward 36 2.90 20 13 3 0.887

    Hayward played one more season with Roy and Roy’s stats were much better.

    anyway, the team in front of the goalie has a lot to do with the #’s, but there is a subjective rating that says Roy on a bad team is better than JLB on a bad team.

  • cristobal

    BigA – The comparison may be laughable, but according to most comments here, a goalie doesn’t need defense to stop the puck. Are the Kings really so different from an old QMJHL team? There were 5 very green rookies skating on Saturday and one of them was a defenseman playing wing.
    I also find it more than coincidental that both Brodeur and Roy stepped right on to Stanley Cup contenders to get them started on their undoubtably stellar careers. Look up others if you want. Arturs Irbe was about 25 when he joined the league in the mid 90′s and had GAA of over 4 for 3 seasons. Nabokov started in the league in his mid-20′s and was over 3GAA his first year. Olaf Kolzig had shocking numbers in limited starts his first couple of season with Washington. Labs has been on a team in turmoil since he came to LA and has average at worst stats.
    If you play goal I’ll defer to your expertise, but Cloutier was passable at best in Vancouver, but here he was a Pariah.
    I’ll take 60 games from Labs with tons of losses and tons of defensive breakdowns over letting him walk only to stick with another team and ONE MORE TIME being left wondering why we let someone of quality get away.
    What’s truly laughable is a bunch of people who’ve never been near the ice on a professional level saying that THEIR goalie is shit. It’s almost as laughable as Staples attendance numbers, horrible ice, and broken glass.
    Besides, I was addressing his confidence as well. I’m a believer that confidence and mindset are huge factors in sports, never more so than with NHL goalies. I think Garon looked much worse the Labs and yet he went to Edmonton and was their No. 1 all last season.

    deadcatbounce – what do you mean “feigned???” Are you just Rich trying to antagonize me? I really must have touched a nerve with you. Cheer up, it’s nothing personal.

  • Sticks

    There is already a lot of frustration and were like 10-11 games in. Wait till game 45. You guys will be on meds. This will be LONG season. The kids will learn and get better. The Kings are two years away from being a legit playoff team.

  • Saevel

    I don’t think anyone expected this season to be easy Sticks, but the way Murray is handling his team selection is frustrating a lot of fans

  • BringBackKingston

    people are just getting warmed up around here. wait till december comes around and the team has no hope for a playoff spot…

  • anonymous

    think about the outstanding numbers chris osgood put up last year for detroit. i dont think osgood is a great goalie. i can remember him letting in really bad goals. but detroits defense is so good, he only has to make a few timely saves and they win.

    i think it’s too much to ask JLB to win games for us with great goaltending, because he’s not a great goalie and he lacks consistency. im more concerned with the defense. we still cant clear the puck out of our zone, just like last year, only this year we cant score either. we have veteran defensemen making passes in our own zone up the middle of the ice when we’re trying to hold a lead. if we could just improve our defense then there wouldnt be so much pressure on our goalie to steal the game for us. of course to be a good team we do need the goalie to steal a game here and there, but not every night. as detroit has shown, you can win championships without an amazing goalie.

    put in Ersberg, but for god sake’s, clear the puck out of the zone for him!

  • Anonymous

    How can you all be frustrated at a goalie when he plays on a horrible defensive team. I watched the game vs Calgary and the LA defence stunk. Labarbs is not a starter but either is Ersberg and you will all be sadly dissapointed when the results come out the same.

  • nykingfan

    Good luck Ersberg. I hope he plays like he did last year. If he makes the big saves to keep us in the games and picks up his D when they screw up, I’ll be thrilled.
    If not…Eventually someone in the system will be THAT guy.

  • jet

    EE did not look good in preseason. I am hoping that he is just a “game” player, or maybe it takes him awhile to get going. The Ducks defense is much improved over the last few games, so expect to see less room for our forwards as compared to the last game.

  • The Man from UNCLE

    Heh last night I had a dream that the Kings made it deep into the playoffs. :-)

    I’m not ashamed to admit this.

    LET’S GO KINGS!

  • Paul from Oxnard

    Now that Brodeur is out 3-4 months, maybe the Kings can trade LaBarbara to New Jersey. He’s just as good as Brodeur, right Cristobal?

  • Gregzky

    I have to admit, but Labarbara has played well, considering that the team is last place right now, their GAA is not bad. It’s been more of a lack of production by the forwards and lets be honest, their depth up front is showing.

  • Anonymous

    Yes goals scoring is down for LA but Jason has let in a number of soft goals this years team has allowed the 3rd fewest shots in the league so far. This team could easily be @ .500 or higher with a goalie thats can make the big save and not let in soft goals.

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