After Las Vegas choose Calvin Pickard in the expansion draft, the Avs got insurance by signing Jonathan Bernier. Unlike the young Calvin Pickard, Jonathan Bernier has more NHL experience. While Bernier hasn’t formed into the strong number one goaltender that he appeared to be heading to in his years in LA, he has turned into a decent and reliable NHL back-up. The question is, however, how many games will Bernier play with the Avalanche?
Over/Under: 25 games
Case for Over: While Semyon Varlamov has had plenty of time to recover from his groin surgery, he’s no slam dunk to bounce back. With a veteran like Bernier behind Varlamov, the Avs will have a goaltender ready to take the reins. With that in mind and the fact that Bernier has played close to 40 games the last two years as a back-up, it’d be easy to expect Bernier to play well over the 25-game mark.
Case for Under: The Avs put their faith in Varlamov before the expansion draft, as well as nearly six million a year. The team seems to believe that surgery is all that he needed to get back into Vezina form. If Varlamov takes the reins, he could easily play sixty games, leaving just 22 for Bernier.
Prediction: Right on. Before needing surgery last year, Varlamov played 57 games in each of the two previous seasons. If Varlamov can do that again, that will leave 25 for his back-up. That said, if Varlamov struggles at any point in the year, expect Bernier to get near that 40 game mark again.
What do you say?
Over/Under 25 games for Jonathan Bernier?
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