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There were two major issues with the Los Angeles Kings and their play as of late. Over the past month, the defense and goaltending were concerns that needed to be addressed and addressed quickly. One of those situations may have been temporarily filled, or is it temporary?

Los Angeles Kings Copley Earning Playing Time

Goaltender Pheonix Copley was signed by the Kings as a free agent on July 13, 2022, to provide veteran leadership and experience to their AHL affiliate, the Ontario Reign, and Reign starter Matt Villalta. While doing so, he kept himself fresh in case of injury or a callup. With the Reign, Copley managed a record of 6-4-2 with a 2.47 GAA and a .913 save %.

Having played with Ontario to begin this season, the goaltenders in Los Angeles were having problems stopping the puck. Los Angeles Kings goalie Cal Petersen had been sent to the Ontario Reign to refine his game, as he had struggled mightily. In that transaction, Copley came to Los Angeles. Copley was recalled on December 1st and has remained with the Kings but is he here to stay or is this a temporary home for Copley?

Copley has played in five straight games and has played exceptionally well. He has appeared in six straight games, compiling a record of 5-1 with a 2.43 GAA and a .912 save %. While those numbers are very good, the Kings have received a boost in their play as well. A little more jump and more pressure in the offensive zone have been highlights of the team’s recent play. The Kings have been playing better as of late but is it the steady play of Copley and not Jonathan Quick, who has also struggled?

One of Copley’s biggest wins came against the best team in the NHL, the Boston Bruins, on December 15th. Copley played positionally well and frustrated the Bruins by not giving them anything to shoot at. He earned the win, 3-2, and had all of the confidence in the world. The question is do the Kings continue to ride Copley between the pipes because of the Kings and their hot streak? Los Angeles Kings coach Todd McLellan has been known to ride the hot hand so the answer would be yes.

The Kings are in a tight race in the Pacific Division and need every point possible. If this means that Copley is the starter from here on out then so be it. The only way he loses the starter job now is if he struggles for more than two games or an injury occurs. He is the hottest Kings player right now and it is best to play him as much as possible while the streak continues.


(photo: latimes.com; Helene Elliott)
(photo: www.pasadenastarnews.com; Andrew Knoll)
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