Quick or Ersberg?

Terry Murray faces a question that a Kings coach rarely faces: which quality goalie to start? Jonathan Quick has been outstanding in his seven games, with a 1.59 goals-against average and a .943 save percentage, but Erik Ersberg was also strong (2.38, .903) before his groin injury, and Murray previously said that he wanted to see Ersberg in a game fairly soon. So who will it be tomorrow against the Ducks?


Question: I can’t imagine that Quick gave you any reason to take him out, but will you go back to him or give Ersberg a chance tomorrow?

MURRAY: “You know, I’m going to think about it today, and we have practice tomorrow. You’re correct in saying that I have no reason to take him out, based on performance. His play, in all the games he has been in, has been very good. But I’m also cognizant of the fact that Ersberg is back from an injury and that we’re going to need and want to have two goalies playing. They’re both young goalies that need to complement each other. I’m not going to lose sight of that.”

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  • JDM

    Hmm…. tough call.

    I’d have to say put in Quick on Tuesday and Ersberg on Thursday.

    Let Ersberg get back on his game at home, and ride Quick’s strong play on the road, where we aren’t very good.

  • anthony

    Got to go with Quick Fast.
    Hmm, not bad.

  • Paul from Oxnard

    I’ve always been of the opinion that you can’t loose your starting job due to injury. The question here is, was Ersberg the #1 goalie when he got hurt? I believe he was, therefore I believe he gets the start against the Ducks.

    Quick has been great, but he’s only got a handful of games under his belt. Not that Ersberg is a longtime veteran, but he’s got more pro experience then Quick.

    Plus there’s the whole Quick vs. the Quackers thing that just sounds wrong. 😀


    I just hope that when one of our guys has a bad game at home the fans don’t start abusing them like we’ve done SO often in the past.
    I think these guys really take offense to a bunch of Angelinos criticizing their talent….
    And Los Angeles has yet to breed an NHL goalie that I know of….

    I think we have an expendable asset in Bernier.
    What is his trade value, though?

  • Nick

    Bernier is not expendable by any stretch of the imagination. We have no idea what we have in Quick, he has played like 9 games in the NHL in his career. He looks really, really good right now…but lots of goalies go on hot streaks for periods of time without them being anything more than average at best goalies.

  • Ed

    My thinking is just opposite of JDM.

    Put Ersberg in on Tuesday in a hostile environment, and let Quick watch and learn about the Ducks. It’s better than watching film on your opponent.

    Get a good practice in on Wed, and be ready to go on Thursday.

  • JDM

    Agreed Nick, we need to see Quick, and still Ersberg for that matter, play up to the level we now know they are capable of for at the very least a full season before we can deem Bernier expendable.

    We need to know they can handle pressure before we know if Bernier’s expendable. Basically we need to make the playoffs before we can really and fully judge our goalies values.

    Quick and Ersberg may be able to tear up the regular season, but before we settle on the goalie of the future, we really need to see how they perform under playoff pressure. There have been way too many goalies in the past that are able to put up great numbers in the regular season and lay major eggs in the post season.


    We’d still have Bergie, Quickie AND Zatkoff.
    Time to use our chips on the bargaining table – or at least in June.

  • Danny

    EAT…”I think these guys really take offense to a bunch of Angelinos criticizing their talent…”
    Have you any idea what intense pressure players get on the East coast and in Canada when they are having bad games? This city gives players the least to worry about regarding criticism or pressure from media or fans. The only real criticism out here comes from the same people on the same blogs and I doubt they see it. It really is not much. I’m of the belief that this team is on the right track, and even when they weren’t all those years I still believed in our team. Oh, Bernier is not expendable..You were kidding right?

  • Nick

    Bernier is still by far the best talent of the group, he has the highest ceiling/pedigree. Trading him now, before we know what we have, would be dumb. We don’t have Lundqvist or Luongo, we have Jonathan Quick on a hot streak. We need to see where he is going to be when he cools off. We need to see if Ersberg is really a .903 save percentage goalie (which is terribly average) or if he can be better. We have no idea what Zatkoff will be like in the NHL.

  • Big A

    It’s still very early, but damn it’s amazing how fast our fortunes in net have seemingly changed.

    Was at the game last night and even my hockey-ignorant wife was blown away by Quick. He did get a bit lucky – along with the whole team – but he has very fast reflexes, plays the angles nicely, and seems unflappable. No guarantees, but he seems like the real thing.

    Bernier has plenty of skills… he isn’t “expendable” by any means, rather he is a valuable “asset”, as is Ersberg IMO. I will say that from having watched the junior worlds & Russian junior series last year, Bernier plays much better with solid D in front of him to keep the slot / crease relatively clear of traffic. (By contrast, Steve Mason seemed a little more capable of maintaining a physical presence in hte net when necessary.)

    If we need additional scoring we’re going to have to either do some dealing or off season spending. Somebody might well be moved.

  • Cricket

    Either way it’s great not to have that Labs anxiety, always wondering if he would be in net or not. Now I’m excited enough for either goalie. It’s a good feeling.

  • Brett

    Bernier will make either Ersberg or Quick expendable, not the other way around. That’s the natural (and smart) order of things. You don’t trade a potential franchise player before you’ve really given him a shot and because an undrafted player and a 3rd-rounder have done unexpectedly well over a couple dozen games. That’s a good strategy for ensuring that your franchise never amounts to anything.


    By the time you figure out that Bernier ISN’T the guy for the future he’ll be worthless, just like Al Montoya or Marc Denis.
    And you’ll be lucky to get a 7th rounder for him.
    Just as Kiprusoff was traded for a conditional pick from San Jose to Calgary.
    You’ve got to turn prospects into impact players one way or another.

  • Jesse

    “They’re both young goalies that need to complement each other.”

    Jason and Erik complementing is like mayo and ice cream complementing each other.

    Quick and Erik complementing is like Nestle Chocolate syrup and ice cream complementing each other.



    You can always draft more goaltending prospects, too.
    Funny, though, I proposed acquiring Roloson last month but was pooh-poohed.
    I also said last month that Tokarski was a great prospect, and was ignored.
    Of course you’re correct that we’ve barely had a glimpse of Quickie, yet; but the kid looks incredible and Bergie is still in the wings.
    Finally, I think Zatkoff’s upside is highly regarded enough that maybe he’s as valueable, but if he’s less valuable but got as much upside – it’s all the more reason we can take the liberty of parlaying Bernier into a great skater or two.



    There was a death from a Hockey fight in the OHL this weekend.
    Ironically there was a mini-discussion about fighting in the game last month on this blog.

    Maybe a thread asking for opinions on this issue.




    Brett said:
    Bernier will make either Ersberg or Quick expendable, not the other way around. That’s the natural (and smart) order of things. You don’t trade a potential franchise player before you’ve really given him a shot and because an undrafted player and a 3rd-rounder have done unexpectedly well over a couple dozen games. That’s a good strategy for ensuring that your franchise never amounts to anything.

    Brett, It’s also a good strategy to ensure you get nowhere by thinking because of where they were drafted makes them a “franchise” guy. I didn’t see too much complaining when Tukonen was traded for an ECHL guy after getting about 10 minutes of ice-time on the 4th line.

    None of you even bothered to point out that Huet was a 7th round pick when I was complaining about “no return” for Labs. Huet is making about 6 mil a season and hasn’t even played 200 games – and this is on his 4th team.



    I didn’t say “expendable,” I said “expendable asset.” You can only play one goalie at a time.

    And I think that it’s a bit different getting taunted by your own fans in Philly, Boston, or Minny than it is in Los Angeles.

    I might be wrong.

  • JDM

    EAT, what’s your point about Roloson and Tokarski? Clearly we don’t need Roloson and Tokarski is Tampa Bay property.

    Bernier’s value isn’t going to drop horribly in the next year or two.

    In fact, his value isn’t incredibly high either. Nearly every team has a goalie, whether drafted in the first round or seventh round, that they believe is their goalie of the future. Goalie prospects aren’t the most valuable trade assets to begin with not only because everyone has one they like, but also because they take so damn long to pan out.

    The only goalies with any real trade value are established number 1 goalies. We are best off waiting until we have 2 guys who have established over a full season or two that they are legit starters. That’s when we trade of those those two guys. That guy could be any of Bernier, Zatkoff, Quick or Ersberg.

  • JDM

    It is different getting taunted here than it is in Philly and Boston and Minny. Especially Minny, those people go insane about their hockey. That’s why the Wild sell out as many games as anyone. Those fans tear their underperforming players apart, and the reporters are harsher too.

    Read Russo’s wild blog. He seems like a good reporter, but he has no problem ripping in to a player or the team in general in the paper.

    Helene Elliot is a great reporter who does a bit of this herself, but her columns generally only have a paragraph on the front page, if that. They focus on hockey in the media in others much more than here.

    Now L.A. probably isn’t the easiest city. I imagine Phoenix is fine, and those people in Orange County barely know what sport their watching.

  • Arty

    Go with Quick…He’s on a roll don’t stop something that ain’t broke. Make sure Ersberg is 110% good to go not just 100%…I’m sure the Kings don’t want to call up another goalie. Defense is good now. Goaltending is only going to get better now. Lets get those fowards movin and scoring them goals that we know they can do. I believe if they get their acts together and in shape we could make it far into the playoffs!!! I LOVE MY KINGS!!! GO KINGS GO!!!


    JDM – All the more reason to try to get the most of Bernier now. His trade value will only be higher if he looks like Luongo, at which point, why trade him.
    But you make a good point about judging AFTER we see them in the playoffs.
    But if there’s a great player available to a team that is interested, you’ve got to consider it.
    As I said, you can always draft more goalie prospects.

    My point about those guys is that there value was much lower last month. We could have strengthened our position in goal with some of our dross – i.e. labs, preissing, etc…

  • Quisp

    Bernier expendable? That’s insane. In fact, if Quick continues playing like this, I would not be at all surprised to see Ersberg moved this year at the deadline. I’m not advocating trading Ersberg, mind you.

    I’m amused that our goaltending situation is so apparently good that anyone could even suggest such a thing.

  • The Kinger

    Considering where we started the season with LaBarbera as #1 and #2 unknown, this predicament is a welcome change here in LA. Quick has been stellar, Ersberg solid. Stay with the hot hand, and just maybe Quick is the real deal. Tough call, great problem to have.

  • Al

    Well guys this old geezer is here to tell ya, normally you’d start a guy coming off an injury on the road, why? so his fans don’t get on his a$$ if he doesn’t fair well, and that’s what I would do, but I just play golf and do the retired stuff now. Fans are tougher on goaltenders then any other player, not many forwards or d-men get booed out of a city or have total nervous break downs and just because WE think a goaltender is untouchable then the team would never trade a top goalie away, what??? are they nuts??? Well going back a couple of years if I may, Hasik was traded and Chicago kept Belfour, Vokoun was traded and Nashville kept Mason, Bill Durnan quit Montreal after just 7 seasons, break down, Gerry McNeil Montreal, breakdown, Chevaldae, booed out of Detroit, Al Rollins traded to Chicago for Harry Lumley, Harry Lumley traded to Chicago after winning the Stanley Cup a kid by the name of Sawchuk made him expendable and Lum went on to the HOF, Sawchuk was traded to Boston one season after winning the Cup and enter Glenn Hall and then Hall is traded to Chicago for Hank Bassen. So you see they are all expendable assets and who we all should be watching is Zatoff. Someone is and will be traded so don’t be to surprised when it goes down, even if they are your very favorite player, I know personally how it feels. Enjoy what we have now because someone will be gone.

  • Nick

    of course someone will be gone, just not any time soon, and Quick hasn’t made anyone expendable at this point.

  • Willard

    To call Bernier “an expendable asset” is completely absurd.

    To “expend” Bernier at this point, before he has come anywhere near hitting his full maturity as a pro goaltender, would be to fall back into *exactly* the pattern that has made the Kings a badly managed franchise for the previous 4 decades.

    The kind of franchise that gets garbage instead of drafting and keeping a Ray Borque. The kind of franchise that gives up on a Larry Murphy far too soon and gets garbage instead. The kind of franchise that trades plum 1st round picks rather than keeping them, drafting them, and growing them.

    Give me a freakin break. There are 29 NHL teams that would be absolutely drooling to steal him from the idiotic Kings, because idiotic is what the Kings would be if they “expended” Bernier at this stage before he has even .

    If we had said that Quick was “expendable” back when Quick was Bernier’s age a couple years ago, — then Quick woule probably be impressing the hockey world in another NHL team’s jersey right now, while we on the message boards would be ripping Kings management a new one for panicking and getting rid of him way too soon.

  • Luis

    Quick or Ersberg?? I would have to say Quick on Tuesday, on the road and Ersberg on Thursday, at home. Give Ersberg a couple more days to heal. Quick has been solid on the road.

    This has got be a situation that the GM had envisioned. Finally some stability between the pipes. If anyone can see what defense will look like in a year two? WOW!!!!

    Quincey, Doughty, Johnson, Hickey, Voinov, & Teubert. Young and talented on the blueline.

    Goaltending will be amazing as well. Quick, Bernier, & Zaktoff.

    I’m speechless. Kings will be very, very good.

  • JDM

    Okay, if a great deal came along involving Bernier for an elite or soon to be elite centerman or winger, I would consider it. But I wouldn’t just trade him for the best we could get so as to cash in on an asset. It would have to be quite a deal, and I would not actively shop any of the goalies just yet.

    I can see that logic Al for starting Ersberg on the road. I hadn’t considered that angle.

  • jediknight329

    al… great perspective.

    fyi folks… labarbera loses again in the shootout. god help him. he made two saves, but let two in. dallas wins in the shootout. at least he is getting them points in every game.

  • Harry

    This rumor is so _______ fill in the blank!


  • Al

    I think some of you may not have understood what I wrote and only wanted to see what you have in your head. I didn’t say anything about trading anybody to anywhere, slow down, take a deep breath and read it again. I guess you must think I just fell off the Zamboni today, (actually it was day before yesterday). We have a good deal of assets and if you don’t think calls aren’t being made everyday to DL on ANY of the prospects and kids that are already playing, then you aren’t thinking the real game. I’m just saying, someone is going to be gone, if not this season, it will be the next, as management gets a better feel of the young talent and what the Kings need is. We have a true hockey management team in place now, not like it was in the “old” days when McGuire was the GM and traded everything but the Forum and probably would have done that if he could have. Then again you hockey fans may not recognize any of the names I mentioned.

  • jediknight329


    lehtonen is a very good goalie on a very bad team. his numbers are a little misleading. that being said, i’m not sure i make that deal now.

  • couldntwinwith99either

    Lehtonen for POS, how many ways can you say NO F’N WAY!!!!!!!

  • Quisp

    I especially like the part where it says, paraphrase, that the newspaper says he could be dealt to the Kings. The newspaper says! Could be dealt! Anybody could be dealt to anybody else. Why don’t these people call me and ask me for some “rumors.” “Crosby COULD be dealt to the Kings. It’s true. Could be!” You don’t get any more true than that! (I hear the KIngs are looking for scoring; and Crosby got in a fight…he’s not happy…get it?)

    Only someone on the other side of the country could say that the Kings would be interested in Lehtonen.

  • markisonfire

    That is the funny thing. I keep hearing the most ridiculous things from other team’s pages (on forums and whatnot). If anything, we’ll trade away goalies or defensemen. We need a left wing prospect is what we need. We aren’t moving any of our top 6 anywhere.

  • Gabby

    What a great problem to have! Personally, I’d go with Quick because he’s played so well the last few games, but I’m confident in Ersberg, too. When was the last time I felt this way about both Kings goaltenders? It’s only recently that I’ve had any kind of faith in one of them, let alone both. I can’t wait til Tuesday. Go Kings!

  • Paul from Oxnard

    I don’t know if Bernier is becoming an “expendable asset” or not, or if he’s not as good as the scouts thought or what. And we certainly can’t form an opinion on Quick after just 7 games, or for that matter on Ersberg after half a season.

    What I can tell you is how Bernier has played, and you can make your own judgements. Since Quick was called up to the Kings, Bernier is 4-4-1 with a 2.33 GAA and a .897 save %. For the season Bernier is 10-9-3 with a 2.66 GAA and a .902 save %. Now, he is a rookie in the AHL, but for someone who everyone expects to be the “goalie of the future”, I’m not sure those stats meet expectations. Someone mentioned Al Montoya. In his rookie season in the AHL Montoya went 23-9-1 with a 2.61 GAA and a .907 save % and he’s never gotten called up to the NHL.

  • sense13

    I’m still an Ersberg guy but right now, you would have to go with the hot hands of Quick. Besides, giving Ersberg few more days to rest could only help.

  • you go with who’s hot. Quick is it. why change a good thing

  • old man

    I would just like to thank Al for his comments.Not to long, but very interesting and informative.I`ve never played hockey myself, but have been a kings fan for 35 yrs.Keep those kids in line Al,and have a great new year!

  • Quisp

    Paul from Oxnard, re Bernier stats:

    What you say is true but Bernier’s stats are virtually identical to Quick’s AHL stats (his GAA is slightly better — or was a couple of days ago) and his SV% is slightly worse, but in neither case are the stats appreciably different. A lot has to do with the team in front of them, which has been riddled with injuries and call-ups. While there are of course numerous examples of goalies who excelled at the AHL level but did not in the NHL, it’s also not unusual to see goalies whose numbers were not great in the AHL or in juniors, but who did fabulously in the big league (Roy and Brodeur, to pick two names; Dryden; Luongo).

  • Moondoggie

    The comments on this subject are all very good and all deserve merit.

    Starting tomorrow night – Quick. Paul From Oxnard, I’ve got to agree with you, a player should never loose his job due to injury. However, you can’t deny Quick and how he’s been playing. It would do Quick a huge disservice to start Ersberg. I also agree that another day off won’t hurt Ersberg, plus bringing him back at home certainly won’t hurt him, friendly confines etc. This is no question a very tough decision to make. The bottom line is that you have to go with your hot hand. Both are very good goalies. I also agree that now that the Kings have shed themselves with the Lababs problem, it will really give the team a chance to open up spots for their young and “ready sooner than we though they would be” goaltending talent. I’m relieved to be in this position than where we we were six months or even a year ago.

    Lastly – Bernier. No way do you trade this valuable asset. Guys, gals…We just got ourselves in a position where we finally have some decent young goaltending talent. This situation can change very quickly. If Quick or Ersberg (remember, groin injuries heal very slowly) go down, we’re going to see Bernier called up quicker than you can say Quick, leaving Zatkoff to the duties at Manchester as the No. 1 down there. All of a sudden, we’re back to being thin at goalie. Also, Ersberg is UFA at the end of this season. We just got ourselves in a position where we don’t have to worry about our goaltending for the moment, we don’t want to waste this opportunity. I know the Kings need scoring. I’d be more inclined to trade some of our stockpiled draft picks for a decent goal scorer. Again, I think some of that will work itself out with the return of Moller.

    Essentially, the Kings goalies are still very young and for the most part still unproven. I’d give them both a full season before making any judgements on their long term future.

    Quisp, very valid point about who you have playing in front of you. Manchester has some very young defensemen down there working on trying to make the NHL. Both Bernier & Quick’s GAA has suffered, very much in part because of the play in front of them. I believe Bernier would probably be playing as well as Quick with the defense assembeled in front of him in LA.

  • Quisp

    Moondoggie – for some reason I thought Ersberg was RFA, but you’re right, he’s a UFA on 7-1. Okay, so I would like to revise my prediction about what’s going to happen here. More to the point, here’s what I think DL’s plan is.

    DL needs to figure out between now and the trade deadline whether (1) Ersberg is good enough to re-sign, (2) whether Bernier is going to be ready for next year, and (3) if Bernier is not going to be ready, is Quick good enough to be our number one next year?

    I think what DL wants to do is have Bernier and Quick be his tandem next year, have Zatkoff be #1 in Manchester, and, therefore, to trade Ersberg this year at the deadline.

    Whether DL can do that depends on the performances of each, over the next several weeks. Ersberg’s groin may or may not be an issue. Quick could falter. Bernier could not show DL whatever it is he needs to show DL in Manchester (and if that happens, he will earn himself another year in Manchester, which makes all of this easier on DL).

  • JDM

    I think a bit of the opposite Quisp. Lombardi has said specifically he likes for goalies to spend 2 years in minor hockey. This is only Bernier’s first. All things being equal I would think DL wants to keep Bernier in Manchester as the clear cut number 1 all next season. I think he re-signs Ersberg to a 2 or 3 year contract, preferably 2. That way he can play next season, but still be traded for some value with a whole year left on his contract.


    Goalies can become worth very little and never get a chance to crack the lineup.



    It can work both ways. We can always trade for promising goaltending prospects, too.

    But if you don’t want to trade him, I’ve got no problem with it…



    Do you think Quick is going to be an elite? Or, is it too soon to judge?
    What do you think about Bergie? Is he a backup, or a starter?
    Do you think the young D is getting tired from all the ice-time and pressure, or do you think this is exactly what they need to become even better, faster?


  • Paul from Oxnard

    1: I never tried to say that Quick didn’t deserve to get starts. My first point was just that he shouldn’t be anointed the #1 goalie over Ersberg based on 7 games, and based on the fact that Ersberg was hurt.

    2: I guess my “evaluation” of Quick vs. Bernier vs. Zatkoff vs. Ersberg is based on expectations. Only Bernier has been touted as a “goalie of the future”. Only Bernier has been called a “franchise goalie in waiting”. So based on the evaluations of Bernier’s talent, I’d expect him to out-perform Quick and Ersberg and Zatkoff. So far they’ve outplayed him.

    Add to that the reports that he’s been moody about not being in the NHL yet and you have to question if he really is a player the Kings should protect at all costs?

    I’ll put it this way. If the Thrashers called me and asked me to trade Bernier for Kovalchuk straight up, I’d do it in a heartbeat. In other words, if Dean Lombardi can get a proven NHL talent of equal potential value as Bernier, he should make the trade. There’s a good chance Bernier’s worth will never be higher. Cash in on it while you can.

    And finally, if the Kings don’t trade any of their goalies, and Bernier ends up being that franchise goalie in the Kings net for the next 10+ years, I’m 1000% happy with that outcome as well.

  • Duckhunter

    For selfish reasons only, I want Iceberg to play tomorrow and Quick to play Thursday. Me and my daughter are going Thursday and are sitting basically at the glass on our end. I want to see Quick up close and get a feel for his game live.

    Having stated my selfishness, If it were up to me, I would go with Quick until he slowed down a little. I couldn’t take a guy out that was this hot. He would play until someone threw a bucket of ice water on him.

  • Al

    Hi Rich, he is a very fast learner, if you recall in Detroit he seemed a little behind the curve and then in his next game he was right with it and since then he has been on top and yes he’s got some breaks, but you know what…. you have to get those to be a top 10 in the NHL. There is not one PURE goaltender anywhere in this world, the great ones get the right bounce of the puck more often then not and the good ones get it every now and then. In my humble opinion, of the two we now have and until I see a continous flaw I would have to say Quick is the better of the two because not only is his positioning good but when he has too he knows how to, let’s say free lance. He didn’t do the same thing twice the other night in the shoot out. This kid is not your average goaltender, he’s having fun with the chance he has been given. When I saw him last year in camp and I also watched Bernier and LaBarbra closely, I told myself, Mr. Bernier has got his hands full. What sent up flags for me was when I watched Labarbra asking Bernier what looked like questions about getting the pads closed in the butterfly and all I could think was, here is a pro asking the Junior goaltender how to do something. Maybe I’m wrong but it certainly looked that way. As far as Bernier goes, we won’t beable to reach a verdict until we see him in the NHL. I think that the young “D” is fine with all the ice time, damn they’re lovin it and if you happen to notice Doughty put a different move on Carter the other night behind our net. Our young “D” is getting better but Doughty looks a litte slow when he has to get back quick and in a hurry, he’s getting beat by almost a full stride and that could be dangerous. Sorry for all the wind. 🙂



    I love your wind. Wait, that sounds weird.
    I love your input, especially on the goalies.
    I think you’re spot on in regards to the young defensemen but I was noticing many more penalties and minuses from Quincey and Doughty lately. That doesn’t have to be a problem right now, though, so I agree with your assessment of it being good to be getting all the time.
    I just love how you see the goaltenders. I’ve never been able to really see quality in goalies until they prove they just won’t get it done – like Labs.
    PS – You’ve got to let out the cat. Did you play in the NHL?

    Paul, I wholeheartedly concur with your post above about goalie trading. 1000%. If someone calls offering REAL quality for Bernier, I think it gets done because Quick and Ersberg look like they fit No. 1, No. 2; and Al likes Quick a lot. Quick is so cool in net, isn’t he?