After his 3-2 win over the New York Islanders on Thursday night, Los Angeles Kings netminder Ben Scrivens said he still had stuff in his game he'd like to "tidy up." That was after the first game since taking over the No. 1 job with Jonathan Quick sidelined indefinitely with a groin injury.
Two games later, if Scrivens feels there's any more tidying up he needs to do then the Kings won't be missing Quick any time soon.
In his three starts since Quick's injury, Scrivens has gone 3-0, posting a 0.67 goals against average and a .977 save percentage with back-to-back shutouts over the Devils and Rangers; good enough to earn First Star of the Week honors. So, yeah, things are going quite well and you can be sure Darryl Sutter is relieved that what could have been a major blow to the Kings' season is, for now, just an inconvenience as long as Scrivens keeps playing the way he has.
LA has won three straight and five of their last six. With 29 points, they sit seventh overall in the Western Conference, which is fun since they would be the No. 1 seed in the East. But despite Quick being out for an indefinite amount of time, Sutter says that won't change how the Kings play going forward.
"[I] wouldn’t want to take the top goal scorer from the conference last year for very long, and a number one goalie very long out of your lineup," said Sutter. "But, you know what? If you find ways and you stay focused on one game, then our mantra from day one since I came here was 'Park and Ride.' You win, you lose. It doesn’t matter. We play the same way."
Entering this season, Scrivens had 28 career starts in two years with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He was the other goalie involved in the deal that sent Jonathan Bernier to the Leafs and would have to earn his minutes backing up Quick, who's in year 1 of a 10-year, $58 million contract.
Sutter said he'd never seen Scrivens play before he arrived in LA and while the original plan was to get backup Martin Jones a game during their Metropolitan-area stretch, it was hard to put his new No. 1 on the bench the way he'd been playing. And since Scrivens has a decent amount of AHL experience (94 GP), putting him in a back-to-back situation wasn't a concern.
Given the large timeframe of Quick's Grade 2 groin strain, there's no telling when he'll return to the Kings' lineup. In the meantime, Scrivens told LA Kings Insider Jon Rosen that he's going to make the most of this opportunity.
"There are only so many chances you get at this level so you’ve got to be ready. You never know when it is going to come."
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