After the Los Angeles Kings lost starting goaltender Jonathan Quick in their season opener it was initially expected his injury would sideline him for at least a couple of weeks.
The team placed him on injured reserve on Thursday and recalled Peter Budaj from the AHL.
On Friday evening the news seemed to get a little worse.
According to Sportsnet’s Daren Millard, Quick is dealing with a “bad groin injury” that could require surgery.
According to Millard, it could sideline him for as long as 3-4 months.
If it turns out to be that bad that would certainly put the Kings in a tough spot.
They almost certainly would not want to be in a position where Jeff Zatkoff and Budaj have to take over the crease for more than half of the season. But they also probably aren’t in a position to go outside of the organization and make a major trade because they don’t have a ton of salary cap space to work with at the moment. There is also the fact that Quick is still signed long-term, and even if he does require surgery and misses a few months he will still be back at some point this season.
Quick was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy a year ago (the second time in his career he has been) with a .918 save percentage. While league executives consistently rate him among the best goalies in hockey, his overall numbers always tend to place him among the league average. That is mostly due to the fact that he can sometimes run extremely hot and cold as a goaltender. He is capable of being lights out in net and nearly unbeatable at times. But when he struggles, he tends to really struggle and gives up goals in bunches.
As long as he is sidelined and the Kings continue to go with the Zatkoff/Budaj duo they will need to rely heavily on their defense that is always among the best in the league when it comes to limiting shots and chances.