The Kings hit the ice for practice today at 11 a.m. Following practice, most of the team responded to the news that rookie goaltender Jonathan Bernier
was being returned to his junior team.
After practice, it was announced that J.S. Aubin was activated off of injured reserve and that Bernier will be returned to his junior team. Bernier won his first start against the Ducks in London, stopping 26-of-27 shots in the Kings 4-1 win, the Kings lone win on the season thus far.
In his last three starts, Bernier has stopped 76-of-91 shots in taking three losses to the Blues, Bruins and Red Wings. For the season, he is 1-3-0 with a 4.03 GAA and a .864 SV%.
“He knows he played very well and he has a bright future,” fellow French-Canadian goaltender Aubin said. “All he has to do is keep working hard.
“He is very young. I am not even worried about his career. He will have a great career and be here for a long time.”
Jason LaBarbera was also impressed by Bernier, “He played awesome in camp and he was probably the best guy in camp. For a 19-year-old, that is saying a lot. He handled the situation very well and he played well.”
Aubin, a nine-year NHL veteran had a few words of wisdom for the young Bernier.
“I talked to him and I am going to see him later today. He is my best friend here. It is tough to see someone go. You know it was not his play that was the problem. It is a tough decision for them and it was tough on him to get that decision but he is a strong guy.”
Aubin also spoke of the bond that the two shared, despite fighting for time in the Kings net.
“We hung out all the time, we are the only two French guys here,” Aubin said.
“It is pretty unusual sometimes because us being goalies and fighting for the same job. At the same time we were really good friends and felt like what was on the ice was on the ice and what is outside is outside.”
LaBARBERA, AUBIN GET THEIR SHOT
With Bernier returned to his junior team, there are now two goalies left on the Kings roster, presenting an opportunity for one of the two to establish themselves as the No. 1 in LA.
“I don’t know if it changes much, the big difference for me will be able to take more shots on practice,” LaBarbera said. “I always find it difficult to have three goalies, it is always hard to get into any kind of rhythm in practice and for me practice always carries over to how I played in the games. I always took practice pretty seriously.”
LaBarbera also mentioned that someone has to pick it up a notch.
“Now that there is more of an opportunity,” he said. “I need to take the ball and run with it. I played two games and I played so-so, so I mean, obviously I need to pick it up as well.”
Whereas LaBarbera has seen action in two games, Aubin has yet to appear but is ready to get his first start with the Kings.
“I have been practicing the past week and it feels better and better and as soon as I jump in I will feel more confident and get better quickly.”
PREISSING THE KINGS SPOKESMAN FOR CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
On Saturday, Tom Preissing shot a Public Service Announcement encouraging fans to purchase limited addition pink hockey pucks that will raise money in support of cancer research. The PSAs will be played in STAPLES Center throughout the month of October.
“The fight against cancer hit home to me,” Preissing said. “My fiancés’ mom just passed away from Ovarian cancer and when the opportunity arose to be the Kings spokesman for cancer awareness, it was an obvious thing for me to do.”
His fiancés mother Sherri Chappell passed away a few weeks ago.
“We want to honor her mom’s legacy. Hopefully this will have an impact on the fans, pretty much everyone has been impacted by cancer. I think it is a great cause”
The 2007-08 season marks the 10th Anniversary of Hockey Fights Cancer. The NHL and NHLPA will commemorate the milestone with League and team programming throughout the season to help increase funds and awareness of Hockey Fights Cancer. The League-wide initiative commences in October with “Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Month” and will include involvement from all 30 Member Clubs, players, management and fans.
The Kings are supporting Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Month by selling limited edition Pink Pucks. The Pucks are $15 and are available only at Kings games, both at the Kings Care Silent Auction table in the Lower Concourse outside Section 101 and at the TeamLA store, or through your local youth hockey team. Be on the lookout for SCAHA (Southern California Amateur Hockey Association) Players that are selling them to raise funds for their team. Proceeds from the sale of the pucks at Kings games benefit the Kings Care Foundation, the award winning non-profit children’s charity of the Los Angeles Kings.
The Kings ‘Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night’ will be Thursday October 25th, as the Kings take on the Dallas Stars. Tom Preissing, the player spokesperson for the Kings’ Hockey Fights Cancer initiatives, will also be auctioning off an authentic helmet that evening at the game. In conjunction with Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night on Oct. 25, the Kings Care Foundation will hold a special “Mystery Puck” Sale where pucks autographed by Kings players will be sold for $25. All proceeds to benefit Kings Care Foundation.
For more information, contact the Kings Care Foundation at 310.535.4465 or email firstname.lastname@example.org