As if the injury to Jonathan Quick wasn't enough to get the wheels spinning on things, at today's morning skate before the Kings/Canucks matchup at Staples Jeff Zatkoff sustained a groin injury.
Apparently the injury was serious enough that Zatkoff could not make it off the ice under his own power.
This puts the Kings down to one healthy goalie, Peter Budaj, who it sounded like he was actually slated to start tonight over Zatkoff. Zatkoff has looked iffy in his two starts for the team, posting an .839 save percentage and a 4.38 goals against average. The team defense has done Zatkoff few favors, but some bobbled rebounds, shaky puck handling maneuvers, and altogether bad goals allowed Budaj seize the opportunity for both the Dallas and Vancouver games. Budaj turned away 26 of 29 against Dallas en route to the Kings first victory of the season. He was the Ontario Reign's MVP last season, continuing to write the annals of his career comeback. The opportunity, it seems at least in the short term, is even more wide open for the former Avalanche and Canadiens netminder.
Coming in from Ontario at least for the evening, and possibly more depending on the severity of Zatkoff's injury, is the newly acquired Jack Campbell.
You may remember talk of Jack Campbell over the summer when he was acquired by the Kings from Dallas for defenseman Nick Ebert. Campbell, a first round selection (11th overall) in 2010, struggled in the OHL and with the pro game after an altogether promising run with the USNTDP in his younger days. While goaltenders by nature take much longer to develop, Campbell found himself playing in the ECHL with the Idaho Steelheads last season more than the Texas Stars. The Stars system, not known for their massive amount of goaltending quality, cut bait on the No. 2 ranked NA goalie from the 2010 draft. While his time in Ontario has been short, . returns have been pretty promising early on as he hones himself under the tutelage of Reign Goalie coach Dusty Imoo apparently
At 24, there is still tons of time for Campbell to sort out his game and once again be an effective goaltender at the pro level.
Speaking of the Imoo's, Jonah Imoo, son of the Reign goalie coach who had signed a pro tryout contract with the Reign prior to the season, is slated to start against San Jose tonight at CBBA. In an altogether cool turn of events, Dusty will back up his son tonight in Ontario since Jack Flinn, the next goalie on the Kings depth chart, is across the country with the Manchester Monarchs of the ECHL. Jonah Imoo, 22, has played in some of the more obscure places in the hockey world coming up including the FHL, the BCHL, and the PIJHL.
To my knowledge (And certainly correct me if I am wrong here), an instance where a father has backed up a son in goal for an AHL or NHL team has never happened. So while it has come about in exigent circumstances, it is a cool bit of hockey trivia we may be witnessing at the moment.
The big question is, what do the Kings do with the goaltending situation if Zatkoff is out long term as well? Does Dean Lombardi trade assets to bring in a goalie like Condon, Pavelec, or someone else? We shall see. You can vote on our twitter poll right now
Puck drop for the Reign is at 6pm, while the Kings take the ice at 7pm to take on the Canucks. Oh, and there is also some baseball game on I think.... (Let's go Kershaw)
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