Detroit Red Wings: Goaltender Jonathan Bernier is the 2019-20 MVP

(Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
(Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) /

In one of the worst Detroit Red Wings seasons during this rebuild, but looking at the player’s performances, Jonathan Bernier was hands down the Most Valuable Player.

As final grades on the season have been handed out with little chance that the Detroit Red Wings will play another game this season, a question would be who takes home the award for Most Valuable Player(MVP)? Goaltender Jonathan Bernier far and away, deserves this award for his performance.

There have been countless reports written on the demise of Jimmy Howard this season and how Bernier rose to the occasion in 2019-20, becoming the starter. It is quite crazy to think that coming into the year, Bernier was nothing but a fringe backup who could not be trusted as a starter, but the narrative switched.

Bernier was one of the few players who received an “A” grade when handing out player grades. After Howard fell off and was injured, Bernier established himself as the starter, playing in forty-six games where he produced a 15-22-3 record with a 2.95 Goals Against Average(GAA), and a .907 Save Percentage (SV%) on the season.

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Among goalies who played in twenty of more games this season, Bernier finished in the top half for GAA, ranking 38th out of 87 qualified goaltenders.

Similar to GAA, he ranked 34th out of 87 goaltenders in terms of SV% among those 87 who qualified for this ranking.

The point to be made was that for a rebuilding and struggling team, Bernier managed to keep the Red Wings in some games at least.

Even though they lost most of these games, he was keeping them in them. Bernier deserves some props for being able to show some of the performances that he did while the Red Wings defense core struggled.

Being a goaltender on this rebuilding team is a tall task, but Bernier was the team’s MVP after vaulting from a backup into the starting job. Going into 2020-21, Bernier is scheduled to make $3 million in his final year of the contract.

They will need to bring in a backup goaltender as Howard will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. However, Bernier has earned his spot to be the platoon starter for the 2020-21 season until he proves otherwise.

There is no surprise there after he takes home the team’s MVP award this season and has proven he is capable of being the team’s netminder during the rebuild. Now, this does not mean Bernier would be the ideal starter in a playoff competition scenario, but through a rebuild, he deserves the chance.

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All-in-all, while the Detroit Red Wings season was a dumpster fire, Jonathan Bernier found a way to turn some heads and become the team’s MVP for the 2019-20 season.