The Los Angeles chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Assn. on Monday nominated goaltender Jonathan Bernier for the Masterton Trophy, which is awarded annually to the NHL player “who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”
Bernier didn’t play during the Kings’ playoff run last season because of Jonathan Quick’s excellence and durability, and Bernier said last summer that he wanted to become a starter, though he didn’t demand a trade. As it turned out, Bernier has gotten a good deal of playing time this season and has been a valuable member of the Kings, who have rebounded from a slow start and can finish as high as the No. 4-seeded team in the West.
With Quick recovering from back surgery and working to regain his old form, Bernier kept the Kings competitive while compiling numbers that rank him among the NHL leaders. Through the games of April 21, Bernier was 9-2-1 in 13 games with a 1.86 goals-against average and .922 save percentage. He ranks second in goals-against and 12th in save percentage. He also has recorded one shutout.
Bernier, 24, missed the Kings’ Stanley Cup celebration visit to the White House to be with his family after the death of his grandmother.