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Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Goalie fights always worth good chuckle

Bernier's ex-teammates cheer scrapper

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LOS ANGELES -- Sick, in this case, was not a bad thing.

The Los Angeles Kings were giving kudos Monday to a former teammate, Toronto goalie Jonathan Bernier, who was the man of the hour after his spirited fight against goalie Ryan Miller of the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday night.

"Sick," said Kings left wing Kyle Clifford, with the knowing smile of an enforcer.

Said Kings defenceman Drew Doughty: "That was awesome. I texted him after and told him it was pretty sick. I always knew he (Bernier) wanted to fight. And I knew he'd win if he did get in one. So I'm happy for him... He's going to be a legend in Toronto now just for that fight. He's off to a good start."

Kings goalie Jonathan Quick said he spoke to Bernier on Sunday night, but not Miller, and said the important thing was that the goalies seemed to emerge uninjured. Of course, Bernier, who was traded from the Kings to the Maple Leafs in June, emerged with an enhanced reputation.

And how about Quick's most-memorable scrap?

"Me?" he said, pausing.

"Off the ice or on the ice?"

For the record, he said he had not been in a full-on fight on the ice where "you square off with anyone."

Quick may have had the best takes about the comic sight of goalies fighting.

"We look like idiots when we do it," he said.

In fact, Quick was often thought of as the feisty one, not Bernier, in the Kings organization. Quick remembered a few chats with former Kings assistant general manager Ron Hextall, the once hot-tempered goalie turned mild-mannered executive. Hextall is in the Philadelphia Flyers' front office.

"Every time I'd get into a little scrum like that, I'd always kind of be waiting on a phone call from him afterwards, telling me I'm an idiot," Quick said. "Coming from him... I didn't know what to believe there."

Hextall, in fact, was involved in one of the best-known goalie scraps when he was with the Flyers, fighting with Toronto goalie Felix Potvin in 1996.

Kings Coach Darryl Sutter joked about that Monday, saying, "Should talk to Hexy and Potvin and see if they want to try that again. See how Potvin would so this time... you get lucky once."

 

Dustin Brown skates

Kings captain Dustin Brown, who skated briefly after practice, is racing the calendar to get ready for the season opener.

"I think they're being cautious. I'll be good to go... I think it was just a weird position I was in when it happened," he said.

The Kings open the regular season Oct. 3 at Minnesota. They have three exhibition games remaining, including tonight at Staples Center against the Ducks. Defenceman Willie Mitchell will play, making it his first game back at Staples Center since the Kings won the Stanley Cup in 2012.

Regarding Brown, Sutter sounded a cautionary note. It's unclear when they will be able to get Brown into an exhibition game. Brown, who has an injured hamstring, has been off the ice since the opening day of training camp.

"We don't know," Sutter said. "Today is the first day he skated. He's a player really behind the eight-ball... He's not a guy that can just jump into a game."

 

-- Los Angeles Times

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 24, 2013 0

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