Jonathan Bernier interview

Sorry for the lack of updates yesterday, as I’ve been trying to prepare to get out of town.

There are a couple of good interviews to be posted today. The first is with Jonathan Bernier, who is far too normal to be a NHL goalie. This kid is going to have to develop some personality quirks or weird habits if he wants to make it in the league… Seriously though, this interview gives some insight into what Bernier went through last season.

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Question: This is now your third camp. Does the comfort level increase every time you come to one of these?

BERNIER: “Any time I can have some experience coming in, it’s a big advantage for me. I think the camp is really good, just to get in good shape for the last stretch of summer and get ready for September. So I’m just here to work hard and try to show what I can do. I’ll work hard in the practices and the games.”

Question: It’s no secret that there’s going to be a lot of goalie competition at training camp. Are you completely focused on earning a spot with the Kings?

BERNIER: “Yeah. I’m not coming here for vacation, for sure. I’m coming in because I want to make the team this year. Last year didn’t really go the way I wanted. I had the injury and there was nothing I could do about it. But this year, if I can have a healthy camp and be ready for it, I will show what I can do.”

Question: Do you feel you got the experience you needed, playing at the AHL level last year, to make the full-time jump to the NHL now?

BERNIER: “I really had it tough last year. In all my years of junior, and even before that, everything was really easy for me to get the net. Everything was going well, and then last year, to not get the chance to be here and to be down there, it was a big disappointment for me. It took me a couple weeks to get in the game, especially with the injury, and then when Jonathan Quick got called up, it was hard for me too. So I really had some ups and downs, but overall I think that if I look back in five years, it’s going to maybe end up being the best year for me, even if it was up and down. I had a really good end of the season, so that feels good, to finish on a good note.”

Question: What do you think it was that pulled you out of that, if anything in particular?

BERNIER: “I think what I learned is that when things don’t go your way, you have to go back to your base. Just do the little things in practice and work hard. I had a long talk with Ron Hextall and that’s what he told me. `Work hard in practice, and it won’t come right away, but your game is going to come.’ And that’s what happened at the end of the season. In the last two months, I was really happy about it. I worked hard in practice, even if I was not really happy. The thing is to not worry too much. When I got cut, I was so upset, but I’m still young. I’m 20, but I don’t really realize that though, because it’s my third camp, but I’ll get my chances, and when I get them, I just have to be prepared.”

Question: It’s going to be pretty competitive between you guys in camp. Do you talk about that at all?

BERNIER: “Not really. We all know what we need to do. When you’re focused and you don’t really worry about anybody else, then you’ll have the best chance to make it.”

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  • Freezang

    Jonathan Bernier is the LA Kings saviour. I really hope people realize that before that put him in another trade proposal. As good as Quick played last year, which was OK by NHL Standards, but phenomenal for LA standards. Bernier is the goalie of the future. He is the one that can put us over the top.

  • hunter

    I feel that is up to all of the goalies to show what they do.They’ve been saying that Bernier is the future,that might be true,he just needs to prove it..As for Quick,if it wasn’t for Quick,the Kings would have lost more games… He kept them in the game..But things are definitely looking better for this year…

  • KevinWestgarth

    Who would have thought a few years ago that the Kings would have 3-4 really solid up and coming goaltenders, and one (Quick) NHL ready goalie. All you DL haters need to stop hating and look at what he has done with this organization.

    Blue line: Taken care of
    Goaltending: Taken care of
    First two lines: Not too shabby. We went from POS last season to JW and Ryan Smyth.

    DL has done a wonderful job, and when I look at all the up and coming youth, I get quite excited. Looking forward to a bright King future. Its going to be fun battling with the Ducks, because we all know the Ducks will be a good team for many years to come as well…

  • BerniernextRoy

    Bernier is going to be the one to get us a Stanley Cup in the near future. While Quick is atheletic and a hard worker, he doesn’t have the same skill set as Bernier.

    For the present, I’m not sure if he will have another year in Manchester. We could have a real problem on our hands if Bernier comes to camp hell bent on making the squad. I got a feeling the next time he wears a Kings jersey isn’t going to be for a cup of coffee in the NHL. The situation on the back end for the Kings has improved tremendously. He won’t be dealing with scrubs on D like he did in 2007.

    Regardless of what happens at camp, his time is coming soon.

  • WWAMD

    Hey Kevin,

    Yah Goaltending, um DL didn’t really do much since the only Kings Goaltender right now starting in the NHL is Quick and um…yah Dave drafted him…

    First two lines: Um…yah Smyth and JW have not done anything in a Kings uniform. Pretty sure there best years were 3-4 years ago, We just got rid of POS whos best years are ahead of him for 2 guys whos best years are way behind, and might I add that their contracts are both way higher then POS.

    So yah DL has done great, he got AGING stars with big contracts and got rid of our future….WAIT WAIT WAIT…isn’t this the SAME reason people hated DT so much? Hmm I guess I’ll turn the blind eye as well and say that DL is doing a faboulous job. And that having ageing Vets like JW and Smyth does not allow us to sign our home stars like Fro and Jack and Doughty and u get the point!

    The blueline may look at lot different sans Quiency, and Jack, so I’ll let u know in Oct how the blueline is holding up!

  • John P

    We can only look at the Kings on paper at this point, but anybody that is not more excited to see this team start playing than any team in the recent past, can only see half empty glasses of water.

  • Orphios

    quick question, was this DL’s 3rd or 4th draft class? Did he draft the Bernier/Lewis class or was that the previous regime. I keep telling myself that the Hickey draft was his first draft but areas of the net tell me differently. I trust this site more than others so which is it boys and girls…was DL Bernier and Lewis or was that the previous regime?

  • Big A

    DL took over a couple of months before the 2006 draft, so yes, he drafted JB. Whether he had much of a say in the scouting, I don’t know.

  • variable

    i agree w/KEVINWESTGARTH (the blogger)…

    d.l. has done an admirable job sticking to his “plan”, which is building through the draft and selecting important players via free agency and trades to make us better…

    i’m not going to be histrionic and restate past opinion as to why i feel this way…those who follow this blog probably have been introduced to my feelings somewhere along the way…

    but…on paper…this team is better than we were at the end of last season…of course, ice hockey is not played on paper…it’s played inside a television, w/really small humans and smaller equipment…

    seriously…
    this is a great issue to have – four goalies that are eager to get to the next level and/or take over the starting position…

    why should we trade anyone at this point, especially goaltenders…?

    either way, it benefits to keep what we have, at least through training camp…if someone should falter out of the main four – quick, ersberg, bernier and zatkoff (i think z. is ahead of the others), then they are certainly young enough to have trade value to another organization that thinks they can do better with them…if someone should succeed…well…that takes care of itself…it gives d.l. more flexibility to maneuver whom is not making the grade…

    we are in a great position right now to take the next step…i don’t know why the naysayers can’t grasp this concept…?

    ultimately, the players have to play…and d.l. is completely on point when he says he needs more from kopi, jmfj, simmonds (for diff. reasons), moller, brownie and even doughty (better fitness)…why wouldn’t you want yr gm to expect nothing less than 100% effort from everyone…?

    it’s been a long road and i understand the frustration from some of the peeps on this site…you know who you are…but d.l.’s plan is now starting to take shape…i think it’s time for us to sit back and let the kids play it out…

    -

  • Cricket

    Bernier was drafted by DL, however it was his first draft as GM, and had barely held the position for a couple of weeks. He did not have his own scouting staff in place yet, and so indirectly I guess you could make the case Bernier was a Dave guy, since his scouts were the ones at that draft.

    Overall, that was a pretty unforgettable draft. DL had barely been in power when he traded Demitra for O’Sully, which also landed us Lewis, of course.

    The next year, everyone was excited because it was DL’s first draft where he had his guys in place for the year, and he went totally off the board and got Hickey, who, like a lot of other prospects, are going to prove WWAMD wrong in his assessment of the kind of GM DL really is.

  • RealDrew

    WWAMD,

    Normally I wouldn’t reply to your ridiculous rants, but I’m bored.

    “We just got rid of POS whos best years are ahead of him for 2 guys whos best years are way behind, and might I add that their contracts are both way higher then POS.”

    POS was traded for JW, whose salaray is 600k more then POS. I wouldn’t call that WAY bigger. Justin JW is 27 and POS is 24. You must be expecting HUGE things from POS in the next three years. You assert that Williams is on the decline of his career like it’s a fact. There is simply no way anyone can predict what JW’s production will be in the future.

    “So yah DL has done great, he got AGING stars with big contracts and got rid of our future….WAIT WAIT WAIT…isn’t this the SAME reason people hated DT so much?”

    Got rid of our future? I liked Quincey and POS, but they were, by no means, the foundation of the Kings’ future.

    “And that having ageing Vets like JW and Smyth does not allow us to sign our home stars like Fro and Jack and Doughty and u get the point!”

    This is conjecture.

    Posters, such as yourself make these trumped up and sensationalized arguments to validate your own argument. You refuse to look at the a situation subjectively. All you do is find a way to twist the facts to make your arguments against DL.

    You should think about being a politician.

  • KevinWestgarth

    WWAMD,

    Ryan Smyth didn’t come with that big of a price tag if take Preissing’s contract into consideration.

    “Um…yah Smyth and JW have not done anything in a Kings uniform.”

    Duh, Smyth was just acquired genius. JW was acquired injured, but now he’s healthy and ready to prove to all the DL haters what kind of player he is.

    JJ will be signed.

    Who cares about Frolov.

    POS is a garbage player and I’m sure Edmonton wishes they never picked up his overpaid wimpy, small butt. Heck, he wasn’t even invited to team USA.

  • variable

    KEVINWESTGARTH…

    i care about frolov…and so do the kings…that’s why he’s on the team still…

    sure…it’s 50/50 at this point…anything could happen…

    but frolov is not the problem…he’s part of the solution…

    i hope that he can be re-signed at a price/term that makes everyone happy…

  • KevinWestgarth

    Variable,

    I like Frolov, but by no means is he part of the “core,” thus, he’s expendable. Would you pay him 5-6 million per year?? I’m certain that a lot of teams would love to acquire him, since he’s a somewhat consistent scorer, but more importantly, he’s in the last year of his contract. Teams would love to dump a 3-4 year contract for him, maybe Hartnell??

  • variable

    this will be the time in which we find out if frolov is a part of this “core” d.l. talks about…

    d.l. has been murky at best on this subject…maybe for strategic/negotiation reasons…but i think we will soon find out where frolov stands w/the team in the upcoming extension talks…

    he’s homegrown talent…a former #1 pick…who deserves a sit-down w/management to see if they can reach amicable terms…i think the organization owes it to fro to at least present their best possible offer to him…and if fro’s end of the season comments w/rich are any indication as to what fro wants, i think it’s reasonable to be somewhat optimistic that a deal can be reached…

    it will be determined by what both parties consider to be fair market value – and that’s the million dollar question…

  • SuperSonic420

    Personally I think the Frolov situation will be resolved by….well, Frolov. What a concept! We all know what Frolov can bring, and pretty much everyone feels Alex can go to a whole other level he just doesnt seem to want to get there sometimes. If he proves he can be a consistantly high level player, the Kings will gladly lock him up long term. If not, the Kings will look to see whats out there and go from there.

    Hockey is always a game in tranistion. Players come and go, but the smart teams keep the right players, not just the best players.

    Detroit kept Yzerman and Lidstrom, always drafts well and they become cup contenders for the last two decades. Avs kept Sakic and Forsberg and then they trade for Patrick Roy, and they go from playoff team to cup contender (and eventual winner) overnight. You dont know how JW or Frolov or Bernier is going to play this year or next. This game is always so unpredictable, you never know what will happen over the course of a game or season. I think DL has a very good playoff contending team, if some things fall into place. I am going to enjoy watching this team battle, should be very exciting. Every team has to grow up sometime, and hopefully this year will be the start of the “real leassons” to be learned!

  • src3

    Agree with you all, but like I have posted before…..He is Russian. They never settle for less. There seems to be an awful lot of me first out there. Hudler and KHL for example. Would you rather play for a cup contender for 2.5/year or play in the KHL for 5/yr. For me its a no brainer. Look at Kessel. The Bruins have a great shot at the cup this year. He wants top dollar now. Great post from PHO GM stating that Upshall wants to get paid like a 30 goal scorer, the GM says : Lets see the 30 first, then will can talk payment.

    I sincerely hope this will not be Fros case. But he will want 5 mil plus. Yeh he can score 30 goals a year, but where is the compete as DL puts it. Every night!

    Lets hope JW and Smitty really rub off on this guy and show the ability to kick him when needed.

  • Ziggy

    This post is about Bernier so Im going to talk about him. It seems to me like the kid has grown by leaps and bounds this past year. Nothing like a little adversity, which is exactly why DL wanted to keep him in the minors btw. I really think the Kings may carry 3 goalies for the first ten games of the season or so. EE is a great NHL backup. Z does not compare to Quick or JB. Jones is the young guy in case none of the goalies work out. EE wont play at all the first 10 games and that is ok. Quick and Bernier will get to split the first ten games and depending on who plays better will get to stay. I think this kind of healthy competition will do wonders for both of these guys. Given the growth of the team, I think this may be the last year DL can afford to keep JB in the minors. At some point he needs to get NHL experience to lead this team to the promised land.

    If I had to make a prediction, I would say that JB will outplay Quick during camp and the first ten games but still get sent down. If Quick can maintain his play from last year it will be a long year for JB but if he falters I think JB takes the job on the big club. This kid is ready. Time to prove it.

    Also when the Kings make the playoffs bet on both Quick and Bernier being the two guys on the roster.

  • waxieman

    Bernier is the goalie of the future, DL is handling him perfectly. All you have too do is look at Cary Price in Montreal that’s what DL is trying too avoid, too much too soon when their not ready.

  • Johnny Kick a Hole In The Sky

    It couldve easily been Bernier that was up here and gave us stable goaltending. Quick was first in line and that’s why he got his shot. Going into camp, Quick is the favorite and deservedly so, Bernier will legitimately challenge him for that #1 spot.

  • 54FIGHTING

    Good read, thanks Rich. Bernier is saying all the right things. Yes, it’s Quicks to lose but let’s not forget that a certain rookie goalie came in and won the #1 spot in 2007. I like Bernier’s mentality and I always forget that he’s only 20. We are young!

    And…even if Bernier goes back to Manchester to start the year (where DL would like him) one of Quick or Ersberg will get injured and he will get a call up. Look what happened last year in a similar situation.

    Last point/question, if DL doesn’t invite Jones to camp and he goes into the 2009 draft where do you see him being taken? I’d say a late 1st round pick. Good steal DL!

    WWAMD, when did we trade JJ?

    As far as Frolov, I’d say he doesn’t seem like the typical Russian. His personality and so forth are different. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him sign for less because of the ‘comfort zone’ situation. BUT…if it doesn’t look like DL will be able to get him extended I’d expect him traded by the deadline.

  • nykingfan

    You all made excellent points in debunking WWAMD’s points.
    I just want to add one thing
    WWAMD
    There’s no issue with you giving your point of view…but PLEASE refrain from using the “yah’s” and “Umm’s”. You have no idea how annoying it was to read your post with those letters (they’re not words) scattered about. Reading it, I got the impression you’re a 14 year old girl.

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