The goalie injuries across the league continue, and the Pacific Division is taking it the hardest. The Los Angeles Kings are without both starter Jonathan Quick and backup Jeff Zatkoff and the Arizona Coyotes are missing Mike Smith. Now the Anaheim Ducks have entered the fray, after Jonathan Bernier left last night’s game against the San Jose Sharks.
Bernier left in the second period after suffering an apparent upper body injury, and starter John Gibson was forced to replace him. The extent of the injury is still unknown and Bernier has been listed as day-to-day. In his stead, the Ducks have brought up Dustin Tokarski. The 27-year-old goalie was traded to the Ducks last year and re-signed this off-season on a one-year, two-way deal and stepped into the role of their AHL starter. Spending his NHL career with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Montreal Canadiens, playing mostly in the minors, Tokarski has never been able to solidify himself as an NHL-caliber keeper with a 2.85 GAA and .904 save percentage in 33 appearances.
Tokarski does have experience though, and should be a reliable backup behind Gibson until Bernier is back in action. Even if he struggles, the Ducks won’t be in trouble like their neighbors the Kings. Anaheim boasts the best pro depth in goal of any team in the league, as Tokarski was joined in the minors by fellow journeyman Matt Hackett and former UMass-Lowell standout Kevin Boyle. The San Diego trio form a strong safety net for the unproven duo of Gibson and Bernier in Anaheim.