There is not doubt who the crease belongs to in Los Angeles. The go to guy in net for the Kings is Jonathan Quick, there is no question there and it will be that way for some time. So the only variable in net for the Kings has been the back up position. Who will be the guy the Kings go to when Quick needs a day off, or has a shaky game?
Before this season, it was Jonathan Bernier. A young stud who some thought was the Kings’ next big thing before Quick bursted onto the scene. Bernier sat in Quick’s shadow proving himself when he got the chance and established the image that he could be a starter if given the chance on another team.
Bernier’s contract was set to expire and the Kings capitalized on his trade value before losing him to the free agency at the end of this season. The Kings pulled the trigger and sent Bernier to the Toronto Maple Leafs bringing winger Matt Fratin and goalie Ben Scrivens to Los Angeles.
The key piece to this trade was Fratin, the Kings are week on the left side and Fratin was brought in to be that speedy offensive wing to possibly solve that problem. Scrivens was a little bonus in the end.
However, going into training camp some thought that the Kings younger guns might give Scrivens a run for the back up spot. Training camp came and went and Scrivens won out.
Scrivens got his first shot at some action during the Kings second game of the season when the Jets put up five goals on Quick. Scrivens came in and faced five shots and turned away all five of them. A nice little way to get his feet wet.
Last night, Scrivens got his first start as a King and made a statement with his time in net. He turned away 20 shots and grabbed the shut out for his first win as a King.
Sure the win was against the Panthers, but Scrivens came up big on several occasions, showing his athletic ability. Like the composure on the semi-breakaway by Brad Boyes (1:50 mark below).
That’s a solid save, early in a period that could have swung the momentum against the Kings for the rest of the game had the puck gone in the net. Instead he stays with the puck, sustains the Kings’ lead and goes onto win the game.
In a perfect world, where we could base the entire season off of one game, we would be able to say the back up position is in great hands and Scrivens will be able to hold it down for the rest of the season. Unfortunately we can’t do that, but we can see now that Scrivens is a solid goalie and should be able to handle the weight when he is needed.