The LA Kings Goalie Controversy No One Saw Coming

LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports)
LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports) /
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As pointed out earlier, Korpisalo has hit a bump in the road during his last four starts, while Copley has been almost unbeatable since the trade deadline with a 6-1-1 record, a stellar 1.88 GAA, and a .924 SV%. Even though head coach Todd McLellan has opted to keep a rotation with his goalies, he’ll eventually have to pick a starter in the Kings’ opening-round series, which would be against the Golden Knights, Oilers, or, absolute worse case, a top team from the Central Division.

Although no one wants to talk about it, the team needs to start Korpisalo because that’s why they traded for him in the first place. However, based on numbers and performances, it would make sense to start Copley, who has no playoff experience on his resume but boosts something his partner does not, winning records against potential playoff opponents.

Mar. 16, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Kings goaltender Pheonix Copley (29), right wing Viktor Arvidsson (33), defenseman Sean Walker (26), and left-wing Alex Iafallo (19) celebrate the victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mar. 16, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Kings goaltender Pheonix Copley (29), right wing Viktor Arvidsson (33), defenseman Sean Walker (26), and left-wing Alex Iafallo (19) celebrate the victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

Currently, Copley is undefeated against Vegas with a 2-0-0 record and is 2-2-0 against the Oilers with a combined 1.57 GAA and .940 SV%. Moreover, Korpisalo is 3-5-0 in 11 games against Edmonton and 1-2-0 when facing the Golden Knights, with a 2.71 GAA and .893 SV% between the two clubs.

Realistically, no one predicted a goalie controversy, especially in the season’s final days with playoff positioning on the line. Unfortunately, no matter how good these two netminders play in the last three days, their work will factor into deciding who gets to start on the opening night of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Sadly, the answer won’t be simple, and there will be cheers and jeers on both sides, yet McLellan has to go with the best option, even if it ruffles the fan base’s feathers because, in the end, it is all about winning.

Related Story. Analyzing LA Kings' Potential Playoff Opponents. light