Usually teams wait a few weeks into the season for their first challenging hill to climb to arise.
The Kings waited for opening night, and a period into game No. 1 of the season. Jonathan Quick was injured in the dying seconds of the opening period last night in San Jose as he performed a series of lateral movements on a few Sharks opportunities as the clock wound down.
Jeff Zatkoff came in to start the second, performing steadily in relief. While Kings fans certainly didn't expect to see the one time Kings prospect come in this early into the season, he turned away 14-of-15 with few real scrambly moments that plagued his preseason.
Regardless of Zatkoff's positive performance, the Kings faithful received dire news from Jon Rosen later in the evening
Quick is scheduled to have an MRI later on today and no immediate roster moves have been made. The blog will be updated as details follow. Quick has at this time officially been moved to injured reserve with a lower body injury and is considered "Week-to-week"
The Kings have both Peter Budaj and newly acquired Jack Campbell in the minors at the moment. Both cleared waivers prior to the season start. Budaj is expected to get the recall. f you want to give yourself a real fright, imagine now if Peter Budaj, the 2015-16 Reign MVP and arguably the MVP of the entire AHL last year, would have been claimed. While a Zatkoff/Budaj tandem certainly does not inspire a ton of positivity, both are wily veterans and Budaj has taken on the workload of a primary NHL starter in the past. He played 56 games in 2008-2009 in Colorado posting a .899 save percentage. While his career .901 save percentage is also rather frightful, Budaj looked like an utter world beater last year with Ontario behind a defensively structured and air tight system. Just as much as Ontario benefitted from the performances of Peter Budaj, Peter Budaj benefitted from the defensive structure of the Kings. Also on the "Inspiring hope" side of things, the Kings dealt with a mid-term groin injury to Jonathan Quick several years ago. A split tandem of a young Martin Jones and Ben Scrivens were able to carry the Kings to one of their best stretches of the 2013-14 season. Still though, losing the Kings workhorse could be a big blow to the 2016-17 season. At least it is still early in the year right?
Overall it was the start to a pretty lackluster night for the Kings. After coming out of the gates flying, the team settled into some sloppy and undisciplined play that permeated from the mid-1st period to the final buzzer. Despite that the team still locked San Jose down to two goals on 31 shots, while putting up 22 of their own. It was a rather uncharacteristic dominance of the possession battle for Los Angeles, but San Jose should prove to be a difficult opponent this year, maybe one of the best the Kings will face out West.
The blog will be updated as more details come out about the severity of Quick's injury and the ensuing roster moves.
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