The Los Angeles Kings might just be OK with Ben Scrivens carrying the torch while Jonathan Quick is out indefinitely with a strained groin.
Scrivens, 27, notched his second shutout in a row (and third of the 2013-14 season) as the Kings blanked the New York Rangers 1-0 on Sunday. It wasn’t a cakewalk, either, as he stopped all 37 shots. That included 15 in the final frame.
He’s stopped an astounding 86 out of 88 shots since taking over for Quick in overtime on Nov. 12.
Scrivens managed to snag a win against a hot Rangers team that had won seven of their last nine games coming into tonight.
In some ways, it might all feel strangely familiar for Kings fans. Last season, a current Toronto Maple Leafs goalie saved the day when things were shaky for Quick. Now a former Maple Leafs backup is producing similar work … albeit early.
It’s worth noting that Scrivens has quietly been competent in his early hockey career. He put up nice numbers with the Toronto Marlies in the AHL and wasn’t half bad with the parent club, notching a mediocre .903 save percentage in 12 games in 2011-2 and a solid .915 mark in 20 games last season.
Perhaps he can produce some strong results behind a stronger Kings defense? He probably hopes so, as a sustained run of impressive production could mean a significant raise from the $550K cap hit that expires after this season.
“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”
In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.
One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.
Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?
Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).
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