The Los Angeles Kings have a solid record at 5-2-2 for 12 points, placing them 3rd in the Pacific Division. The offense has scored 39 goals, second in the league, and have a 4.33 goals per game average. However, there is one glowing problem that is creeping up again.
Kings Goaltending May Be An Issue Going Forward
The goaltending duo of newcomer Cam Talbot and returnee Pheonix Copley been average to start the season, despite Talbot’s outstanding performance in last night’s 4-1 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Talbot has been the better of the two and has grabbed the starter job. He is 4-2-1 with a .914 save percentage and a 2.47 goals-against-average with 17 goals against. Copley and his stats are not close to what he was last season. Copley is 1-0-1 with a 4.98 goals-against-average and a horrendous .788 save percentage with 11 goals against.
Last season, Talbot was 17-14 with a 2.93 goals-against-average and a .898 save percentage with the Ottawa Senators. Copley, with the Kings, posted a record of 24-6 with a 2.64 goals-against-average and a .903 save percentage.
The goaltending tandem has given up 31 goals this season, which ranks 23rd in the league. They have both had their moments this season but have not got the job done as a duo. The goaltending was a question mark going into this season after last season was average at best. If the Kings are going to make a run at another Stanley Cup, Copley will need to step up or there could be changes.
The only other goaltending option other than Copley is David Rittich. He is the third goaltender on the roster and may get a shot at the backup role if things continue to go south for Copley.The Kings do not have any cap space to acquire another goaltender and are likely to go with Talbot, Copley, and Rittich for the foreseeable future. With Talbot playing the best of the three, it would be nice to have that security on the bench, waiting for an opportunity.
The Kings had a goaltending carousel last season with Jonathan Quick, Cal Petersen, and Copley. The situation sorted itself out and Copley became the starter around the first of the year. Is this going to happen this season just with the backup role this time? Will Rittich replace Copley as the backup? Or will General Manager Rob Blake have to get crafty and work a minor trade?
(photo: theathletic.com; Eric Stephens) (photo: lakingsinsider.com; Zach Dooley)