LA Kings: Cal Petersen on his relationship with Jonathan Quick

LA Kings (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LA Kings (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Despite both players competing for starting time in net this year, LA Kings goalie Cal Petersen spoke highly of his mentor in Jonathan Quick.

With the LA Kings set to begin their season in just over a week, the team and its players are making final preparations for when the puck officially drops on the 2020-21 campaign. Much of the roster is familiar, but there are some new faces coming aboard, including Cal Petersen.

Okay, so Cal Petersen isn’t exactly a “new face” to the LA Kings family, but he is starting the season with the big club for the first time in his career.

Since trading Jack Campbell to Toronto last February, the LA Kings’ backup slot was filled — and earned — by Petersen. On Tuesday, the 26-year-old spoke with the media about his relationship with LA Kings starter Jonathan Quick and how it has progressed over a short period of time. First, though, he was asked whether he approached this year’s training camp any differently, knowing that he’s expected to make the team.

LA Kings Cal Petersen
LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports) /

“Not really,” Petersen responded. “I mean, I think every year that came in, kind of, regardless of where I was. Maybe, realistically, on the depth chart, I think I’ve always tried to put my best foot forward and try and gun it, you know, making the NHL team and at least making it as far as I can [where] people have a really tough decision, sending me down. But, it’s obviously a little bit different coming into this year, but, you know, for me, that mentality stays the same, and just want to continue to prove that I can play at this level and be a really positive contributor to the team.”

With his current role and the level of promise he carries, Petersen has hopes of possibly taking over as the club’s No. 1 netminder one day. Until then, though, the Notre Dame alum is enjoying playing the role of protege to Quick, learning as much as he can from the 2012 Conn Smythe winner.

“Yeah, I mean it’s nice getting to know him a little bit better,” Petersen noted. “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.”

LA Kings Jonathan Quick
LA Kings (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Speaking of the possibility of Petersen — or any netminder in a backup role — hoping to earn the No. 1 spot, it comes with its own level of, for lack of a better term, awkwardness. Petersen was asked what topics of conversation he and Quick stay away from while competing.

“I mean, I think both Quickie and I know, kind of, you know, how to handle [each other],” the goaltender said. “We’ve obviously played on a number of teams where, you know, you’re competing with another guy but also want to have a relationship, and I think there’s some teams where you don’t really have much of a relationship with the other goalie, and I think there’s other teams where you have a great relationship. But, I think, you know, the competition doesn’t really change and the competitiveness, but I don’t think it’s one thing where you’re, you know, wherein any way you wouldn’t be supportive of the other guy because I think he’d be just as supportive of me, too. I think, more so, we’re kind of using it as a way where if one guy has success and pushes the other guy to even have any more success and I think that can be nothing but positive, you know, kind of, so the team and the different outcomes that we want. But, I really don’t think there’s anything that we kind of stay away from. I think it’s more so we’re just working on having a positive personal relationship because this is the first time we’ve really been together one on one to begin a season,”

The 26-year-old was then asked what he does and doesn’t want discussed during games if a teammate or coach has something to say to him.

LA Kings Training Camp Cal Petersen
LA Kings Training Camp (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

“As the guys know, I’m pretty quiet when they come to the bench,” Petersen noted. “I’ve started to open up a little bit more kind of as a way to let myself relax. I just didn’t, you know, every time I went to the bench, I didn’t want it to be a time where my mind can wander. I wanted to continue to stay locked in. But, more so now when it comes to the bench, you know, if there’s kind of a lighthearted moment, I might crack a quick smile or quick joke or something like that with Quickie or the other guy, but I mostly try and stay a little bit locked in I kind of have a routine where I just get a little sip of water, you know, wait for the guy to click the crease and go back. So, I’m not really a guy that has a ton of dialogue on the bench unless there’s a power play or something specifically coming up where I got to ask somebody about something or a coach has a direction for me, but I’m definitely not a big chatterbox when I come back to the bench.”

Especially given the shorter 56-game schedule, there may be more of an opportunity for Cal Petersen’s ice time to increase. Whether he’ll be the No. 1 netminder for the Kings this season remains to be seen, but that is something that Jonathan Quick will have something to say about. Even then, though, Petersen and Quick have a healthy, professional relationship, so while there is competition between the two, it is underlined with a great deal of respect for one another.

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The goaltending situation in Los Angeles will certainly be something to watch entering the new season. You can bet that both Cal Petersen and Jonathan Quick will bring their respective A-games entering the 2020-21 campaign, and it’s something fans do not want to miss.