by Nick Hamilton (@NickHamiltonLA)
LOS ANGELES – Two time Stanley Cup winning goalie Jonathan Quick has spent his entire 13-year career with the Los Angeles Kings. As the team looks to return to the playoffs after missing out for the past two seasons, one of the strengths to help them return is the balance at goalie between Quick and Cal Petersen. Both should split time this season under head coach Todd McLellan.
Was the extended off season a blessing in disguise for this Kings team heading into the 2021 season?
“We had plenty of time to heal up, and get those all figured out,” Quick said in a media zoom call. “At the same time its been ten months since we played a hockey game. While you’re grateful that you’re healthy and feel good, you’re trying to ramp it back up and get into game shape.“
Last season Quick elevated past a slow start and finished by posting a .921 save percentage and a 2.39 GAA over the team’s final stretch of 20 + games.
“I think you’re going to need two, maybe even three goaltenders at some point during the year,” McLellan said. “And we’ll approach it that way. We don’t feel like it’s Quickie’s net or Cal’s net. We feel like we have a net that both of them are very capable of playing in.”
Petersen’s relationship with Quick continues to grow and will prove vital as these two will have to rely upon each other throughout the course of the season. More like iron sharpening iron, which can pay dividends for the Kings especially late into the season.
“I mean it’s nice getting to know him a little bit better,” Petersen said. “On a personal level, I mean, he’s a really awesome guy, you know. Obviously, everybody knows he’s a great competitor, so I can’t really ask for anybody else to be partnered with, and I think it’s going to be a good relationship with each other, kind of pushing us and continuing on from last year and I think it’s a way for both of us to elevate our games.”
The Kings face both the Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche twice in their opening season stretch.
“You know, we, for the most part, we played teams in the West and we play teams in our division the most so, you know, we– you scout them once or twice, you feel like you know them pretty well by the third game, for sure. So, whether you’re playing them once a month or three times in a weekend, like you, you know, there’s still a decent idea (of what) they’re trying to do and the same on there and they know what you’re trying to do.”
The Kings will also add a third goalie this season, and have signed Berube and Troy Grosenick in order to comply with the NHL roster for their squad and taxi squads.
The Kings are more than ready and focused to start the 2021 season, and many including Quick are looking forward to facing some outside competition on the ice.
The Kings host the Minnesota Wild on Thursday January 14 at 7PM PT at Staples Center.