The Los Angeles Kings have been dealt a blow to their goaltending, announcing that Pheonix Copley has been placed on long-term injured reserve (LTIR). Copley left practice on Friday, December 15, and did not return.

Kings’ Forced to Jumble Goaltenders

Copley has played well this season, going 4-1-2 with a 3.16 goals-against-average and a .870 save percentage. He was the talk of the league last season, recording a 24-6-3 record, a 2.64 GAA, and a .903 save percentage. Hime being placed on LTIR means he will either miss the Kings next 10 games or 24 days.

With that transaction, Los Angeles recalled goaltender David Rittich from the Ontario Reign of the American Hockey League (AHL). He posted a 7-6-3 record, a 2.63 GAA, and a .901 save percentage. The 6-foot-4 and  205-pound er has NHL experience, posting a career record of 79-51-21 with a 2.87 GAA and a .904 save percentage. The 31-year-old was signed by the Calgary Flames as an undrafted free agent and will back up starter Cam Talbot, with an occasional start mixed in. He won his first game last night against the San Jose Sharks, 4-1, by stopping 15 of 16 shots. The duo of Talbot and Rittich is what the Kings will go with until Copley is able to return.

SAN JOSE, CA – DECEMBER 19: David Rittich #31 of the Los Angeles Kings dives on the puck to make a save against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on December 19, 2023 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Kavin Mistry/NHLI via Getty Images)

 

In Ontario, goaltender Erik Portillo will grab the opportunity between the pipes to lead the reign into first place past the Calgary Wranglers, affiliate the Calgary Flames, who sit in first place by a single point. Portillo has been solid between the pipes in his first pro season, posting an 8-1 record with a 2.15 GAA, a  .924 save percentage and one shutout in 10 games.

To give Portillo an occasional night off, the Kings organization recalled Jacob Ingham from the Greenville Swamp Rabbits of the ECHL. He has played 14 games and has a record of 11-2, a GAA of 2.64, and a .920 save percentage. His 11 wins lead the ECHL and his save percentage is fifth in the league.The 6-foot-5 and 205-pound Ingahm was drafted by Los Angeles in 2018 and has six career AHL games to his credit. His stats in those games include a record of 3-2-2, a 3.88 GAA, and an .878 save percentage.

We know that injuries will hit every team at some point this season but it depends how serious the injury and if you have insurance at the minor league level. Luckily, Los Angeles has solid depth at the goaltending position to make these moves and solidify their goaltending. Copley is not lost for the season so he will be back but now the Kings have a solid duo to remain competitive in the Pacific Division.


(photo: lakingsinsider.com; Zach Dooley)

(photo: lakingsinsider.com; Zach Dooley)

 

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