Plus A Bernier, Minus A Fourth Line – Kings @ St. Louis Game Day Thread

Just when you thought you’d never see Jonathan Bernier in net again, the young should-be would-be stud gets the nod tonight against the St. Louis Blues. Enjoy it, as you may not see him again until close to Christmas. This will be just his 4th start of the season.

To boost the mistrusted goaltender’s confidence, Murray has saddled him with a 4th line of Moreau-Fraser-Westgarth. Hunter also swaps out with Richardson again.

Speaking of confidence, Murray had this to say today about Bernier:

“I thought he was real sharp and had some great efforts in the exhibition games. Then, for whatever reason, something happened when he got into that second game that we played in Europe, against Buffalo. There were plays, that he was making in training camp, that found the back of the net on him. So, it’s only his second year really, in the sense of being a full-time player in the NHL. You’re going to have to go through a little bit in order to become a better player.”

There you have it, pretty clear proof that Bernier has been paying bench penance for a below average first game to start the season. Let’s all get behind Bernier for tonight’s game and wish him the kind of brilliant performance that extinguishes month-old doubts in Murray’s eyes. We’ll take the challenge of being thrown out there against one of the hotter teams in the NHL in St. Louis, after a terrible game by the Kings last Saturday against Detroit, as small stepping-stones in Bernier’s ladder to playing more than twice per full moon.

Now, about this fourth line. Moreau-Fraser-Westgarth is, on paper, just about the most abysmal combination one would have ever expected this season. A complete lack of energetic youth (Westgarth is 27 folks), a guy who wasn’t supposed to be playing in every game but has in Moreau , and a guy who Lombardi had hoped to simply buy-out, the guy he wanted less than a 7th round pick, Fraser. Look, Fraser has been alright. If we didn’t have Lewis AND Richardson (who are both scratched), then I would be completely behind a player like Fraser. But if this 4th line doesn’t sum up that there is a clear problem on the roster itself past the first 8-10 forwards, I don’t know what does. You know I’m actually most excited to see Westgarth on this line. In his games this season he has been much better than he was most of last year. His mistakes haven’t been as bad, his skating not as blatantly abhorrent and his forechecking has been, at times, not just acceptable but an asset.

Why Brad Richardson is the one going in and out of the lineup and Moreau hasn’t missed a game yet… well let’s just say I don’t think he’s quite cute enough to warrant the love affair. Richie is supposed to be the heart throb. Maybe Murray is jealous is his hick-ish good looks. I hope Murray doesn’t wet his pants too quickly tonight, what with now having BOTH Moreau AND Hunter to throw out on the second unit PP in the same game.

Still, we can’t fault the player for how he is used. Hunter’s last two games were quite solid, so perhaps his presence on the third line won’t be a drag.

The bright side is that Loktionov and Voynov are still here. If we could now only get a little of the Russian connection going on our powerplay, I could wet my pants too.

I don’t expect two dismal performances by the Kings in a row. A road game feels like just what the doctor ordered. The Blues should play the sort of rough and tumble energy game that brings out the best in the Kings.

My gripes are merely perfunctory at this point.

We’re going to kick ass tonight.

I’ll be working and won’t get to watch the game, so I’m counting on you guys for the updates. I may be the lucky one though as I won’t have to look at Ken Hitchcock’s psychotic, bloated face.


Categories: L.A. Kings News

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32 replies

  1. TM is quite properly going with SIZE to counteract those fucking immensities in St. Louis.

    Gonna miss Lewis’ speed, though. And Richardson’s frisk.

    Bernier better be sharp. The Jolly Blue Assholes are gonna be all over the crease if we can’t keep ’em out.

    • Size is a good answer for the Blues. That’s why I’m happy with Westgarth being in the lineup. I’m upset that Richardson keeps getting taken out, and my gripes about the 4th line are in general. Not sure why Fraser has seemed to locked down the 4th line center spot and even if Moreau is right for this game, I’m just stumped as to why he’s played in all 20 games so far.

  2. stupid murray with the Richardsone swap.. really hate that!
    Glad to see Bernier get a start.. now let’s see him get a win!!!
    GO KINGS GO !!!

  3. May we win.
    May Bernier shine.
    May the wolves start to howl again.
    May the age of darkness arise.
    Who knows those last two sentences were Emperor lyrics?

  4. Kings sucking on PP but then breakaway by Brown saved and Stoll almost put it tweaners on Halak. Blues 1 to 0 on a goal by Steen early.

  5. Bernier is in so ofcoarse Kings are a little sloppy. Good PK though.

  6. Voynov flying a little got a couple of good chances.

  7. 1st period over 1 to 0 Blues. Blues clogging the neutral zone, gonna be tough sledding.

  8. Start of the second, two great saves by Bernie.

  9. Kopitar scores from Richards on a bad giveaway by Jackman in the corner. Good steak

  10. Bernier Great fucking save!

  11. Voynov is awesome! No way he goes back to Manchester.

  12. Thanks for the updates! I just got a text “Bernier playing GREAT” Very happy to hear.

  13. End of 2nd. Brown knocks Russell on his ass at the horn creating a minor scuffle.
    Kings better in that period. It’s tied 1-1.

  14. Richards scores on a one timer! Bad play again by Jackman, Loktionov with steal and pass.
    2-1 Kings!

  15. Sabotka scores from a feed from the side of the net.
    Tied 2-2.

  16. Mitchell scores on a shot from the point!
    Kings regained the lead 3-2!

  17. Kings 4th line playing surprisingly well. Winning a lot of battles. Even earlier Westgarth had a almost breakaway and a good shot on net.

  18. Richards is 15 for 15 on faceoffs. Won em all.

  19. That was a pretty nasty cross check by doughty at the end there. Suspension?

    • Yeah, I’m wondering how Shanahan will see that play. It didn’t look like he hit him that hard just had Oshie leaning a little.

  20. Kings win 3-2! Decent win. Blues couldn’t capatalize on some opportunities in the 3rd. Lots of minor penalties. Voynov and Richards were awesome. Bernier played well.
    Solid win although they capitalized on some bad plays by Jackman. Still, Blues have been hot. Handed Hitchcock his first regulation Blues loss.

  21. Just read through the comments. I think CV pretty much nailed the game on the head!

  22. The team started to loosen up after about 2 periods. But initially they look the typical robotic, boring, uncreative style of play. One word to describe the offense…Limp. They do not attack. They do not skate very hard. When there’s a turnover they should be jumping all over that shit and turning up ice and entering the zone with Speed. When they breakout they do not skate very well with it. They need to attack.

    I could say that with another coach this team can truly be on its way to the next level. It’s painfully obvious this team has a Ferrari engine in a Pinto body.


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