Q&A with Jonathan Bernier

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Take us through what it’s like to be a goalie.

It’s a selfish poistion. You’re by yourself, you get to do your own thing. When you make a mistake, it’s a goal. I think it’s the most important position in hockey.

What is the best part of playing the position?

You have to love being under pressure. You have to carry the team and make decisions at the right time to help the hockey team win.

What started you on the path to becoming a goalie in the first place?

I started playing hockey at three-years-old and I switched aroun six or seven. We were missing a goalie in one game and I liked the position.

Talk about your NHL draft experience and what that was like for you.

The draft, for sure it’s big, but I think the big thing for me is when I went to camp. The draft is only one day, it goes so fast in your head.

Do you think you could get used to living in L.A.?

I think so, yeah. (Bernier laughs). It’s a nice city.

Talk about the Kings’ response to your development since they drafted you?

They see me a lot. This year, they came to a lot of games. They call me a lot, too. When I got cut from the World Juniors, Ron Hextall called me and asked me how I was feeling and told me that he was behind me and to just keep battling.

What is the biggest strength in your game right now?

Probably my positioning. I try to be a stand-up goalie when the shot is high and be low when the shot is low and just be patient.

Where do you think right now you need the most improvement in your game?

It’s my decisions behind the net, when I control the puck, just make better decisions, be consistent with that.

How do you work on something like that?

In practice we do a lot of breakouts, but I think it’s probably more in the game, when I can read the forecheck and see who’s coming and where, things like that.

What are your short-term goals, for you and for the team?

Go far in the playoffs. I think we have the potential, we have a good group of guys, more mature, and I think this is the year we need to go far and give everything. My biggest goal right now is to carry the team as far as we can go.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Hopefully playing for L.A. I want to play in L.A. as soon as I can.

What is going to take to get there?

They drafted me because they like my game already. I think I need to improve on every aspect and get better with every game, but you still have to be at the right time, at the right moment.

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