Los Angeles Kings hockey is back.
The Strange upcoming season does come with new rules and restrictions. The Kings do have one possibly critical decision to make.
That decision – who is the taxi squad goalie?
At first, you might think who cares. However, it could play a bigger role in the Kings season than you might think. The two goaltender possibilities are between a goalie who has played in the NHL and one who is trying to make his mark for a chance at the NHL dream, playing with the Ontario Reign of the AHL.
Former San Jose Shark Troy Grosenick is one of those options for the taxi squad goaltender. Matt Villalta is the NHL hopeful. One makes the taxi squad, the other is likely the starter in Ontario.
If Jonathan Quick or Cal Petersen, heaven forbid, suffers an injury or contracts COVID the taxi squad goaltender will have to play the role of backup. That could play critical because, regardless of the Kings goalie, the backup will need to give the starter a rest and will need to be prepared to play. Quick, who played lights out last year, has unfortunately been injury prone recently.
If you take Grosenick then Villalta does not have that experienced goaltender behind him to show him the ropes. If you take Villalta and none of the King’s goaltenders get hurt then he could be using that time to play in Ontario.
Regardless of which goaltender the Kings put on the taxi squad they will have their reasons and we should support that.
With the shortened season the taxi squad goaltender could play no games or play a handful and that is where this decision should be taken seriously.
Who do you prefer for the taxi squad – Grosenick, Villalta, or someone else?
Featured Image: Zach Dooley/lakingsinsider.com