LA Kings: Cal Petersen is the clear-cut starting goaltender

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

Cal Petersen waited for his turn, and he’s proving that he is the clear-cut starting goaltender for the LA Kings now and going forward.

After getting the nod in goal the past few games, it has become clearer that Cal Petersen is not only the goaltender of the LA Kings’ long-term future but quite possibly for the short-term future, as well.

Having a netminder in a backup role-playing in consecutive games can lead to speculation that the team’s number-one goaltender will be on the move in the very near future. In fairness, until anything becomes official, this is just speculation. Nevertheless, it is, in a word, thought-provoking to wonder how much longer Kings starter Jonathan Quick will don the silver-and-black.

Following team practice on Sunday, Cal Petersen spoke with the media about his relationship with Quick at this juncture of the season as well as how he continues to evolve and prepare for a starting role.

Petersen began by addressing how he’s felt after starting the last three games for the LA Kings.

“It’s all about, kind of, building into the season,” the 26-year-old began. “I kind of gotten more comfortable game by game and the experiences that I’ve gotten. So, it’s more so just kind of taking everything I can from the previous game, building it on and just continuing to feel more confident.”

As for his relationship with Quick, the Notre Dame alum was quick to address that the two netminders do get along, although both share that competitive fire. The two have been trying to find a good balance between wanting to support each other but also with both wanting to play as much as possible.

“I don’t think anything’s changed,” Petersen said of his relationship with Quick. “I think, you know, we’re both really competitive guys, so I think we’re both obviously going to be battling for starts. I don’t think that’s going to change throughout the season. But, at the same time, I think whoever’s playing, the other guy has the guy’s back. It’s nothing but supportive. So, I think it’s a great relationship from that standpoint.”

In between games, Petersen has made most of his time focusing on his game and what it takes to get better. During practices, the 26-year-old has worked tirelessly with LA Kings’ longtime goaltending coach Bill Ranford — and sometimes Jonathan Quick himself — addressing key areas that will help the young netminder improve on the ice.

“A lot of what we’re doing now is more so geared towards whoever our opponent is going to be coming up,” Petersen noted. “I think one of the nice things about playing these two-game segments is you get to kind of key in on some certain tendencies that maybe the other team has and really work on those. Usually, it’s kind of geared towards some of the drills that we do at practice and I guess other tendencies: offensive zone or what other teams really look for. So, that, we’ve been really working on. Billy’s done a really good job of identifying, so we’re as prepared whenever the two games come around.”

At this juncture, it is unclear whether or not he will be making his fourth-straight start on Tuesday night but Cal Petersen is nonetheless instilling confidence in his team — and in himself — that he is en route to becoming the LA Kings’ new number-one man between the pipes. When that will officially happen remains to be seen but as much confidence as the Waterloo, IA, native has garnered, it is imperative not to take Jonathan Quick lightly.

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As the season progresses, the more we will find out in the LA Kings’ goaltending saga (let’s not call it a controversy just yet). As of late, Cal Petersen looks to have the edge in goal but this season has been an unorthodox one, to say the least. The goaltending situation in Los Angeles shouldn’t be any different.