A big reason why the LA Kings have won six games in a row and riding a seven-game point streak has been the play of their presence in net.
Some may call it a goaltending controversy, but the situation in goal for the LA Kings hasn’t been one that warrants much concern, if any. Both Jonathan Quick and Cal Petersen are playing their best hockey right now but at no point this season have either netminder felt the pressure to outperform the other. This is especially good news for Jonathan Quick, who, unlike Petersen, is at the tail-end of his career. Nevertheless, the duo of Quick & Petersen is proving to be a well-oiled machine for the red-hot LA Kings.
In recent weeks, and especially on their current winning streak, Quick and Petersen have exchanged starts and, just as often, have exchanged quality outings. Most recently, the former came off a 31-save shutout — his second in three games — in St. Louis on Monday night. Despite the shutout, Quick took the bench on Wednesday night as head coach Todd McLellan elected to start Petersen. Again in St. Louis, the LA Kings were looking to extend their winning streak to six, so the pressure was on the Notre Dame alum.
If Petersen was feeling the pressure on Wednesday, though, he did an admirable job of concealing it.
The 26-year-old was stellar against the Blues, making 35 saves en route to the victory. In fact, had it not been for a late St. Louis goal, Petersen would have been perfect on this night. A stellar outing nonetheless, though.
Following the win on Wednesday, Petersen spoke with the media about his relationship with Quick, especially given how great both have played up to this point.
“I think it’s great,” Petersen said. “I’ve always been a big proponent that when one goalie is playing well, it helps the other goalie play even better and I think that’s holding true for Quickie and I. And like I said, you know, in the past, whichever guy’s him in the net, you know the other guy that has his back and is supporting him a hundred percent. So, I think it’s a great relationship from that regard, and each time the other guys in net, he wants to prove his worth and have a great game and help the team win, do his job, and I don’t think that really changes from night to night with whatever goalie’s in the net.”
Especially with the current winning streak in mind, No. 40 was asked if his and Quick’s respective performances are motivated by both netminders trying to outdo each other — “hold my beer” moments if you will.
“I wouldn’t say so,” Petersen responded. “I think it’s more so just, you know– again, we’re competitive guys, and our main focus is winning every single time we get into the net, so I think that’s kind of our focus. It’s whenever our numbers, you know, call them. It’s our turn to go in and help the team win, and that’s what we do.”
In 10 games, Cal Petersen is 4-4-1 with a 2.28 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage. In nine games, Jonathan Quick is 5-2-2 with a 2.82 goals-against average and a .903 save percentage. But, before you conclude that Quick is the lesser of the two with his GAA and save percentage numbers, keep in mind that, in his last three outings, Quick has recorded a 0.66 GAA, a .976 save percentage, and two shutouts.
Just prior to this three-game hot-streak, yours truly wrote about how Cal Petersen is the “clear-cut” starting goaltender. Perhaps my reading was a source of motivation. Then again, maybe not. It is still interesting to think about nonetheless.
The LA Kings are riding high these days, and they have garnered the attention of the rest of the NHL and those who cover it as a result. It’s hard to predict how long this current streak will last, but regardless, you can rest assured that the LA Kings are in very good hands with Jonathan Quick and Cal Petersen guarding the crease.