The Net Effect

03/09/2011 2:20 PM -  David Satriano

Jonathan Quick (Source: Creative Commons member Resolute)

Atlanta Thrashers
Ondrej Pavelec
has missed the Thrashers’ past four games with a wrist injury, but he is expected to start on Wednesday against Carolina. Pavelec had lost his past three starts, giving up ten goals combined. Chris Mason has started all four of those games, not playing particularly badly in allowing ten goals in four games while going 2-2. But Pavelec has by far been the more consistent of the two. When he is healthy, the job is his to try and keep the Thrashers’ fading playoff hopes alive.

Los Angeles Kings
After staring 72 games last year, Jonathan Quick appeared to be primed to repeat that number this season. But with 20 games to go, he has started only 47 games. Quick’s .918 SV%, 2.22 GAA, and six shutouts are all better than last year. However, he has started only five of the past nine games, with backup Jonathan Bernier starting the other four. In fact, Quick hasn’t started more than two games in a row since early February. Kings coach Terry Murray said that the two will probably split starts the rest of the way.  Bernier hasn’t been terrible, going 8-8-3 with a 2.63 GAA and a .905 SV%, but Quick showed last year that he can take this team on his shoulders. I understand if Murray wants him to not play as much before the playoffs, but a 50-50 split just seems wrong.

St. Louis Blues
Jaroslav Halak
, who has not played since February 14 with a wrist injury, was activated from injured reserve Tuesday and will start on Wednesday against the Blue Jackets. Ben Bishop and Ty Conklin had pretty much split the 11 starts that Halak missed. Bishop was sent to the AHL Tuesday to make room on the roster for Halak, despite allowing one goal on 20 shots and earning the win against Columbus after Conklin had been pulled. Conklin played ten minutes and allowed three goals on eight shots. He will now continue his former role of Halak’s backup. The Blues have ten more games this month, and are pretty much out of the playoff picture.  But I would expect Halak to play most of these games, as he’s had a month off and should be quite fresh.

Washington Capitals
The Capitals are finally starting to hit their stride, winning seven of their past eight games. Semyon Varlamov has not played since February 20 and will be out for at least another week with a lower body injury. Michal Neuvirth has been getting the starts in his absence, starting all seven games since Varlamov has been out. He allowed 14 goals in those games, but six were in one game. Neuvirth had to be removed from Monday’s game after the first period, after getting hit in the mask with a shot. Braden Holtby stopped all 21 shots in 45 minutes and earned the 2-1 shootout victory over the Lightning. It was his first game since late January, although he’s only allowed three goals in his last four appearances. Neuvirth was probably just shaken up, but if he does miss a few games, Holtby is a good option considering the way he and the team have been playing recently. Holtby is scheduled to start Wednesday’s game against Edmonton.

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  1. Mike Tedone says:

    Quick is far and away the #1 guy in LA…Bernier will not come anywhere close to a 50-50 split down the stretch; I’d be surprised if Bernier even sees 5 starts total out of the remaining 20 games. It’s really not close at all between the two like you guys are making it out to be.

    Quick’s job isn’t in jeopardy to begin with, he has been very strong in net the past two seasons for the Kings, and Bernier has done little to make a case for himself as the #1 guy in LA, particularly for this season, as his #’s are mediocre at best and going 4 for 22 the other night all but assures Bernier is not gonna be taking the reigns from Quick in LA this season. Quick has to get 6 goaled a few games straight for the two to go anywhere close to 50-50 and I don’t see that happening from Quick, particularly coming off right back from a poor DET game with a stellar 33 Sv bounce back performance against Vancouver of all teams the other night.

    CBSSports also seems to agree:

    “Bernier made 18 saves on 22 shots Monday in an overtime loss to the Stars.
    (Updated 03/07/2011).

    Fantasy Analysis
    Jonathan Quick will probably be starting most of LA’s games down the stretch as the Kings fight for a playoff spot. As such, the chances to start Bernier may be few and far between, and you’ll probably have better options.”

    Like I said i’d be surprised if Bernier sees even 5 starts out of the next 20 games for a 75-25 split, nevermind a 50-50 split with Quick. Quick has to play beyond awful down the stretch and I just don’t see that happening. Quick also became a father within the past year so I imagine both his mental fitness and emotional maturity even at only 25 years of age is also well beyond anything Jon Bernier can bring to the table in that regard for LA at this point in his career.

  2. [...] Bernier deserves to be starting 50 percent of the games down the stretch seems to be a topic of considerable discussion on this site, but I’m of the opinion that he deserves to be starting. The Blue Jackets’ offense [...]

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