Jonathan Bernier and the 369th 4th Hockey Podcast

Did you know that the NHL hosted an outdoor game this weekend? Us either!

Following the Russian invasion, the IIHF has banned Russia and Belarus from all events moving forward. Was it the right move by the organization?

Last week Nick started a debate about Jonathan Bernier. This week, the debate is finished: Was he ever the worst goalie on the team? (See below for all of the details!)

The Ottawa Senators are the latest team welcomed into the Elimination Station. But the guys have hope for the future.

Lastly, we pick the Pavel Bure Must Watch Games of the Week. Pick the score of each game over on our Twitter.

All this and more on episode 369 of the 4th Line Hockey Podcast!

The Bernier Details

In episode 368 of the 4th Line Hockey Podcast, the topic of Jonathan Bernier popped up and co-host Nick made the following claim:

“Not the worst goalie on any team he ever played for”

That’s a very bold claim, you’ve got to be of a decent level to crack the NHL, never mind play over 400 games. But it is true that those 400 and something games have been played for half a dozen different teams. Bernier’s level is that of a reliable goalie, but not someone that GMs wants to build a team around.

That said, is there a way to confirm or disprove Nick’s claim? Let’s break down Bernier’s regular season career so far. For clarity, I’m only looking at goalies who played games for the teams in question:

LA Kings 2007-08 to 2012-13

Goalie Games Played Sv% GAA
Jonathan Quick 286 .915 2.32
Jason LaBarbera 64 .906 2.95
Jonathan Bernier 62 .912 2.36
Erik Ersberg 53 .910 2.55
Jean-Sebastien Aubin 19 .886 3.19
Dan Cloutier 9 .887 3.43
Daniel Taylor 1 .800 6

The LA Story is interesting as prior to the 2010-11 season, the Kings leant on an assortment of goalies, with Bernier’s numbers being respectable compare to some others. Those numbers were only based on 7 games, and Bernier didn’t play at all during the one of those seasons. For the three seasons after 2010-11 however, the tandem was exclusively Quick & Bernier so let’s see what that looked like:

Goalie Games Played Sv% GAA
Jonathan Quick 167 .919 2.16
Jonathan Bernier 55 .913 2.29

Objectively, It’s got to be said that despite some very good numbers; compared to Quick, Bernier was the worst goalie on the team based on Nick’s statement.

Verdict: Worst

Toronto Maple Leafs 2013-14 to 2015-16

Goalie Games Played Sv% GAA
Jonathan Bernier 151 .915 2.80
James Reimer 103 .912 2.98
Garret Sparks 17 .893 3.02
Drew MacIntyre 2 .922 2.54

Statistically Drew MacIntyre posted the best numbers, but only from two games. Bernier was the strongest overall for those with a decent sample size.

Verdict: Not the worst.

Anaheim Ducks 2016-17

Goalie Games Played Sv% GAA
John Gibson 52 .924 2.22
Jonathan Bernier 39 .915 2.50
Dustin Tokarski 1 1 0

Including or excluding Tokarski’s Hall of Fame numbers (he came on to play less than 10 minutes one one game), Bernier didn’t perform as well as Gibson.

Verdict: Worst

Colorado Avalanche 2017-18

Goalie Games Played Sv% GAA
Semyon Varlamov 51 .920 2.68
Jonathan Bernier 37 .913 2.85
Andrew Hammond 1 .939 2.06

In 2017-18, Bernier served as as Varlamov’s backup, although he did take his fair share of games. His numbers though?

Verdict: Worst

Detroit Red Wings 2018-19 to 2020-21

Goalie Games Played Sv% GAA
Jonathan Quick 105 .908 3.02
Jimmy Howard 82 .900 3.42
Thomas Greiss 34 .912 2.70
Calvin Pickard 9 .846 3.97
Eric Comrie 3 .864 4.28
Kaden Fulcher 1 .818 4.41

With Jimmy Howard’s future uncertain (he’d already been with the Wings for a decade) and Petr Mrazek having already been traded to Philly, Detroit needed an answer, and that answer was Bernier, at least temporarily. Although Bernier’s fortunes varied (and behind that blueline, what can you expect?) and his time in Detroit saw him post his worst career figures (again, Red Wings’ defence), he still either matched or exceeded his revolving door of colleagues.

Verdict: Not the worst

New Jersey Devils 2021-22 to Present (02/28/2022)

Goalie Games Played Sv% GAA
Mackenzie Blackwood 23 .894 3.29
Jon Gillies 13 .884 3.77
Jonathan Bernier 10 .902 3.06
Akira Schmid 6 .833 4.83
Nico Daws 5 .906 2.64
Scott Wedgewood 3 .880 3.19

Verdict: Not the worst

About the Show

The 4th Line Podcast is a weekly hockey podcast hosted by Carl Landra and Nick Seguin. Every week they share their unique and fun take on what is happening in the world of hockey. While they don’t take themselves too seriously, they have a typical 4th line attitude: what they lack in finesse, they make up for in being willing to go to the corners and work hard to get the job done.

Who are Carl and Nick? Carl comes from Calgary, AB. His facial hair of choice is a mustache. His team of choice is the Colorado Avalanche and his smoked meat of choice is brisket.  Nick comes from Toronto, ON. His facial hair of choice is a light beard. His team of choice is the Detroit Red Wings and his smoked meat of choice is ribs.

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