Sometimes you’ve got to pull your starting goalie to catch the attention of the defense. Tonight, that had be in Terry Murray‘s mindset. By my count, Jonathan Quick was only fully responsible for one of Phoenix’s six tallies. Hung out to dry. It happens, just one of the consequences of the profession. Find a proven NHL goaltender who hasn’t been forced to make way for the 2nd stringer a few times, I’d be shocked. Even though Quick wasn’t at fault, it was a good move. Before tonight’s game, Jonathan Bernier was named the starter for tomorrow night’s return to Staples Center. His premature appearance tonight midway through the 2nd period shouldered the responsibility on our defense. They woke up, Bernier got some looks, now you’ve got some chemistry leading into tomorrow night’s faceoff. If you’re looking for a positive outtake on tonight’s blunder in Arizona, look at Bernier’s appearance. Perfect on 13 shots faced in almost 30 minutes, and sent a message to a defense that exposed Jonathan Quick in harsh form. I don’t enjoy doing this, but here’s where you can finger the blame on Quick’s….quick appearance.
First Goal: Jack Johnson unable to handle the puck in defensive zone transition, Scottie Upshall feeds Shane Doan.
Second Goal: Not to take anything away from Keith Yandle, but four Kings’ stared at his back-door feed to Shane Doan. Goals don’t come that way in this league with four defensemen in the slot. They shouldn’t.
Third Goal: Scottie Upshall buries his own rebound from the top of the circle with four Kings’ on the backcheck. Here, you can argue Jonathan Quick allowed a bad-angle goal, but Upshall has no business recovering that puck.
Fourth Goal: Powerplay for Phoenix, but no excuses for this mishap. Scottie Upshall feeds Brett Maclean through Matt Greene, Rob Scuderi, and Michal Handzus.
Fifth Goal: Clear shot from the top, not going to let Quick off the hook on this one.
Sixth Goal: Bad neutral zone turnover, I’ll pin the blame on this even though Kyle Turris‘ shot should’ve been handled.
Expect Jonathan Bernier to extend his time in net tomorrow night. He’s yet to start consecutive games this season, and now he’s got the opportunity to feed off of a promising appearance. The bigger test is this defense recovering from tonight’s mess. Regain composure in front of your back-up, and get your #1 guy back in the crease on good terms.