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Old 09-19-2007, 09:34 PM   #102
Bronx33
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Found this tidbit on kuklas..

Fresh off a stellar turn with Canada’s national junior team, goaltender Jonathan Bernier has nominally thrown a monkey-wrench into the Kings’ net-minding plans, with two excellent performances thus far. Kings’ coach Marc Crawford suggested the three-way competition for jobs in goal (among Dan Cloutier, Jason Labarbera and J.S. Aubin) is now a four-way battle, as a result of Bernier’s strong work.

Because Bernier is just 19, the Kings would need to send him back to junior if he doesn’t make the NHL team, which seems the most likely scenario anyway, given GM Dean Lombardi’s philosophy of not rushing kids, especially kid goalies. Crawford reiterated that he made a mistake last year in rushing to name Cloutier as his No. 1 man and sending Labarbera to the minors, where he languished all year, the Kings afraid to call him up, for fear of losing him on waivers. According to Crawford, the Kings will take three goalies to Europe with them and won’t get their roster down to size until after they play their first two games (the league gave them and the Ducks a special dispensation to do so in exchange for starting the season four days ahead of everybody else). Cloutier won the Sharks’ game with a dazzling save in the shootout, but overall, he had just a so-so outing and is clearly not where he wants to be yet. Bernier looked sharper but maybe that had something to do with having almost a month of hockey under his belt already.
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