If the LA Kings do make the playoffs, is that the time to officially hand the starting duties to Cal Petersen?
Imagine watching the first game of the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs. The LA Kings enter the ice surface, getting prepared for battle. As they make their laps around, getting the legs ready, you notice goaltender Cal Petersen is between the pipes for Game 1.
Deserved? Not deserved? Upset? Shocked? One shouldn’t be as it very well could happen this season. Jonathan Quick is the best goaltender in Kings’ history. He guided them to two Stanley Cups, won numerous awards, and played exciting games throughout his career. However, there comes a time when he will eventually have to step aside and give Petersen the throne.
Petersen currently has a record of 18-11, a save percentage of .900, and a goals-against-average of 2.74, with three shutouts. The Iowa native had a lengthy winning streak not that long ago where he looked like a number one goalie. Quick has also been good, though not great, as his record is 17-12, a save percentage of .909, and a goals-against-average of 2.65 with two shutouts.
Things could change by the start of the postseason and Quick could be in goal for a playoff series opener. But Petersen deserves the chance to be in the spotlight and show what he can do on the big stage. If Petersen is going to succeed as the Kings’ number one goaltender he will need this type of seasoning to get himself prepared for future playoff series.
Again, this isn’t to say Quick has been bad. Given the inconsistency of personnel on the blueline, both goaltenders frankly have fared just fine. The 36-year-old Quick is more experienced and battle-tested so he’d be prepared if Petersen struggles.
Indeed, the 27-year-old Petersen may struggle. He might get pulled, and he may even ride the bench at some point. However, in a season in which the Kings have exceeded expectations, this seems like the right time to see if he can lead the LA Kings on a deep playoff run.