TORONTO – Among the many stars, fleeting paparazzi and widespread shimmer of the Hollywood scene was sheer anonymity for the former backup goaltender of the Los Angeles Kings. Vans Old Skool Black Sale . Jonathan Bernier was but a blip on the glitzy California radar, but now in his first season in Toronto, he finds himself squarely in the spotlight. One half of the Leafs standout goaltending tandem, the 25-year-old has raced out to a quick start with the new opportunity, posting a .933 save percentage in his first 10 games. Born 30 minutes outside of Montreal in nearby Laval, Quebec, Bernier knows a thing or two about the intensity and pressures of a furious hockey market. Speaking to the Leaf Report on Thursday afternoon, he detailed his adjustment to life in the spotlight, life with a new team and goalie coach, and starting on a regular basis. What follows is an edited transcript of that conversation. LR: Im wondering what the difference is off the ice in coming to Toronto. Youre coming from a place in L.A. where its not the same intensity as here. Whats that been like, that process of coming to a hockey market per se? BERNIER: Its definitely an adjustment because in L.A., youd be out on the street and no one knows who you are. Even the greatest players, [Anze] Kopitar and Dustin Brown, theyll maybe get recognized once in a while. [But] here, you have a good game, next day you go out for breakfast or whatever and everyones happy for you. People are very respectful and thats the one thing I found right away is theyll come and say congrats or good game, but theyre very respectful and thats a great thing. LR: Did the first time it happened catch you off guard? BERNIER: I heard about it [before I came here]; guys told me about it. And obviously coming from a big city like Montreal as well, I knew how [their players] deal with the fans outside the rink so I was expecting that a little bit. LR: So just going back to L.A., you could go out to dinner and walk down the street and just nothing? BERNIER: Nothing. Id say after the Cup [in 2012], people kind of knew who we were [in the area] where we lived, but if wed go downtown or Hollywood, theres no chance. LR: So whats the strangest thing that someones said to you here? BERNIER: I havent got any good stories yet (laughs). LR: Do you like the change? BERNIER: Yeah, its a good change. I think it keeps you focused on hockey. You dont want to have a bad game because then the next day, youre going to hear about it (laughs). LR: You understand the market in Montreal, how do you think the two are similar? BERNIER: I think theyre very similar. The [cities are] both supporting the team. I think for me though speaking French and being in Montreal, I think itd be a lot harder just because you have two sessions of media pretty much (laughs). LR: When a player comes to this kind of market, what are the adjustments required just to be ready for that kind of stuff? BERNIER: I found there is pressure, but pressure, you put that on yourself. If you dont really focus on whats going on on TV and radio and internet, I dont find [that it adds pressure]. Maybe [thats] because right now were having success – we have a good record – but maybe if it would be the opposite, maybe Id say a different thing. But so far I havent found that its that hard. Like I said, you just put pressure on yourself so its all about how much pressure you want to put on you. LR: Well, I would imagine it doesnt really change your focus. Your focus would have to be the same regardless. BERNIER: Yeah, exactly. I think even in L.A., among the guys, we were putting that much pressure on ourselves and the GM and coaches. Its kind of the same way here. We try to stay away from the media pressure and just focus on ourselves and our team and just make sure were ready every game. LR: You told me last week about the focus thats required mentally playing more often. Has it helped? Does it help you be a better goalie when you know youre playing more often? BERNIER: You mean from the pressure? LR: No, just in terms of your preparation in being ready to play. I would imagine in some situations in L.A., its difficult when you go a couple weeks and you havent played and youve got to get back in there and play well. Has it been like you thought it would be? BERNIER: I think its easier mentally just because the reason is youre happy and you dont get off into negative thoughts and things like that. So I think if you stay positive and just keep working hard, then youre having fun. I think as a hockey player or any sport, if youre having fun, usually youll have success. I think that was the thing in L.A.; sometimes I was getting frustrated in not playing. But at the same time, here, its fun. We have a great group of guys, were winning right now and its a big snowball. LR: And I can imagine the worst thing is if you had an off-night and you dont get to start for a while its just got to burn you? BERNIER: Yeah. And thats something that I had to learn my first year is not to worry about the result of the game, more focusing on my game. Because then you start worrying if you dont win, then youre not going to play for another two, three weeks and you have to think about that loss. I think I got better [at that] as the years went along. That was something I was really focusing on was just focusing on myself and not the result. LR: Has there been any adjustment working with a different goalie coach? Has he changed things? BERNIER: No. Rick [St. Croix] is really good. Hell just try to give me some tools, but at the same time, its not something that hes going to say you have to do this. Hes just going to let me know hey if you want to do this in a game or in practice, work on that and if you feel comfortable do it. But the one thing I really like is I think he watched a lot of video and probably heard about my style and he adjusted to that. He knows when I feel comfortable with my depth and things like that. Obviously its still new, but were starting to get a good chemistry between him and I. LR: So is that your depth in the net? BERNIER: That was just an example. It can be how I played the puck, make quicker decisions or things like that. But I can tell that he watched video and saw when I was on my game what I was doing right. LR: And thats what James [Reimer] told me, I remember last year, that Ricks not the kind of guy whos going to say you have to do this, hes going to look at what you do and say we can do this. BERNIER: Exactly. Cheap Vans Shoes For Sale . The Maple Leafs will play on the road for the first time this season after dropping home contests to Montreal and Pittsburgh to begin the campaign. After losing a one-goal decision to the Canadiens on Wednesday, they were bested 5-2 on Saturday by the Penguins. Vans Shoes Clearance Sale . Lowry and the Raptors officially announced a four-year US$48 million dollar deal Thursday. The deal was reported last week but couldnt be made official until Thursday, when the moratorium on signings was lifted. "They were real factors. I did my homework.PHILADELPHIA -- Playing their fourth game in five nights and missing their leading scorer, the sluggish Nuggets appeared well on their way to their third straight loss. Then they cracked down on defence and found a hot hand off the bench in Jordan Hamilton. Hamilton hit three straight 3-pointers late in the fourth quarter to help Denver overcome a slow start and the absence of Ty Lawson for a 103-92 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night. "Hes been doing that for us. He spaces the floor," Nuggets coach Brian Shaw said of Hamilton. "We finally got some movement when our guards started to attack, their defence started to converge and he found the open windows." The Nuggets (12-8) led by four with 4:28 to go before Hamilton, who finished with 13 points, made three 3s in a span of 67 seconds to push Denvers lead to 11. It came as part of a 15-2 run that turned an 86-all tie into a 101-88 lead for the Nuggets, who held the Sixers (7-14) to 15 points in the final quarter. "We found a way to contain them and force them to take some tough shots, and Jordan caught a little fire," said Andre Miller, who had eight points and seven assists. Nate Robinson led the way with 20 points and J.J. Hickson contributed 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Nuggets, who had dropped their previous two contests. Tony Wroten finished with 20 points for the Sixers, who held a four-point lead at the half. Philadelphia has dropped 10 of 12. "The right run at the right time definitely helps," Evan Turner said. "I thought we had control of the game most of the game." Turner, the Sixers top scorer, failed to reach double-digit points for just the second time this year, finishing with six points on 3-for-12 shooting. Denver dominated from beyond the arc, where it hit seven 3-pointers to the Sixers three, and on the boards, where it won the rebounding battle 52-38. Philadelphia shot just 7 for 20 in the final quarter and didnt even attempt a free throw. "They went on that run, and we came back on offence and we got good looks," Thaddeus Young said. "But it seemed like we ccouldnt knock them down. Cheap Vans Shoes. " Both teams played without their starting point guards. Lawson, who left Denvers 106-98 loss to the Boston Celtics on Friday, was sidelined with a left hamstring strain. The fifth-year pro leads the Nuggets in scoring (19.3) and assists (8.0). Sixers rookie Michael Carter-Williams spent his third night in the hospital while recovering from an infection on his right knee and missed his second straight game. "Its being monitored closely, but nothing to get too overly concerned with," Philadelphia coach Brett Brown said before the game. Philadelphia is 1-5 this season without Carter-Williams. The Sixers jumped out of the gate quickly on a 10-2 run. Denver took its first lead 23-22 with 1:53 in the first, but Hollis Thompsons 3-pointer with 47 seconds to go sparked Philadelphia to a 27-25 advantage after 12 minutes. The fifth game of a six-game road swing might have taken its toll on the Nuggets, who have been plagued recently with slow starts and trailed after the first quarter for the fifth straight game. Philadelphia played an unusually clean first half in which it turned the ball over just four times to take a 53-49 lead into intermission. One of the leagues worst in turning over the ball, the 76ers entered averaging 18 giveaways per night. Wroten started in Carter-Williams place and led the way at the half with 14 points on 7-for-12 shooting. As a team, the Sixers shot 50 per cent from the floor before halftime. "Tony Wroten was hot," Hamilton said. "They were getting some good looks at the rim. ... Their reserves came in and scored some shots, and we said, Man, we just gotta crack down on these guys. And thats what we did." NOTES: Lawson did not play for the first time this season. The Nuggets were 8-1 last year without Lawson in the lineup. ... The Sixers outscored the Nuggets 64-42 in the paint. ... The 76ers observed a moment of silence prior to the game for South African leader Nelson Mandela, who died Thursday at 95. ... On Monday, the Nuggets wrap up their six-game road trip at the Washington Wizards and the Sixers host the Los Angeles Clippers. ' ' '
blip on the glitzy California
blip on the glitzy California