Martin Jones was 3-0-0 with one shutout, a puny 1.00 goals-against average and a .972 save percentage last week. The Kings’ 23-year-old rookie goaltender was named the NHL’s second star of the week Monday. Overall, Jones is 5-0-0 with a 0.99 goals-against average and a .967 save percentage. He is the first goalie in league history to give up an average of less than one goal per game while winning each of his first five appearances, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals was the No. 1 star and Nashville Predators goalie Carter Hutton was the third star.
Reminder: Saturday’s game is early for us on the West Coast. Fox Sports West and KTLK-1150 will carry the game starting at 11 a.m. … The Kings appeared to be in trouble when No. 1 goaltender Jonathan Quick, the MVP of their Stanley Cup championship run in 2012, suffered a groin strain Nov. 12 against the Buffalo Sabres. Nothing could be further from the truth, however.
So, I had all this fine stuff saved up for Ben Scrivens’ return to Toronto, but then came word that he wouldn’t start Wednesday’s game against his old team. Martin Jones would be in the lineup, having recorded victories in his first three NHL games, including back-to-back shutouts. Scrivens talked the other day about enjoying his time with the Maple Leafs, but didn’t think he’d grow misty-eyed at the sight of downtown TO when the team bus cruised down the Gardiner Expressway from Pearson International Airport. He also said he was happy to be a King now.
The Kings continued their superb play with a 6-0 beatdown of the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday. Six different players scored for the Kings (20-7-4) and rookie goaltender Martin Jones recorded his second consecutive shutout in only his third NHL game. So, far Jones is 3-0-0, having given up only two goals in a 3-2 shootout win over the Ducks. The Kings’ power play finally clicked, ending a streak of eight-plus games without a man-advantage goal. Montreal was dominant in the first period, but couldn’t crack Jones and was well-beaten by night’s end.
Here are three things about the game:
The Kings departed from LAX on Monday and they moved closer to becoming whole again, with defenseman Matt Greene and forward Trevor Lewis inching toward their respective returns from injured reserve. Goaltender Jonathan Quick is expected to be sidelined until Christmas at the earliest, however.
The Kings haven’t scored a power-play goal since defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning on Nov. 19. They finished that game by misfiring on three man-advantage chances and then followed it up by going ofer for the next eight games. Overall, they are on an 0-for-33 slide. They are 17 for 112 this season (15.2 percent), which ranked them 23rd in a 30-team league. So, what’s wrong?
The Kings re-assigned defenseman Jeff Schultz to their American Hockey League affiliate at Manchester, N.H. Schultz did not play with the Kings, who recalled him last week. He has played in 23 games for the Monarchs this season, scoring two points (one goal, one assist). The move clears the way for Matt Greene’s return from injured reserve. Greene has been sidelined by an upper-body injury.
Drew Doughty and Jake Muzzin seem like a defense pairing built to last, a union of two offensive threats. Or is it?
“Evaluate it every game,” coach Darryl Sutter said Friday, the day before the Kings played host to the New York Islanders at Staples Center. “Quite honest, when we went into Anaheim the other day, the last time Jake played in Anaheim, he was (poor), so don’t think I didn’t talk to him about it. Because you’re evaluated at the end of every game. Because at the end of the day … we’re not that far from Jake Muzzin being a healthy scratch. Not that far removed. He’s a young guy and we’re looking for consistency.”
Jonathan Quick walked past Kings coach Darryl Sutter and a group of reporters Friday. Quick nodding at Sutter as he left the Kings’ training facility. He was bundled up against the 55-degree weather in El Segundo, with a jacket and a ballcap. There was no sign of a limp as the walked past.
“There’s no timetable,” Sutter said of Quick’s possible return from a groin strain that’s sidelined him for 11 consecutive games.
The original estimate was Quick would be sidelined from six to eight weeks, which would mean he could be back by Christmas at the earliest.
Goaltender Martin Jones’ memorable debut in Tuesday’s 3-2 shootout victory over the Ducks wasn’t surprising to Kings coach Darryl Sutter. After all, it wasn’t as if Jones was new to the rigorous of life for an NHL goalie. Until making his debut Tuesday, he had done everything but play in a league game.
Finally, he got his chance and made the most of it.
“Last two years was important because you get to watch,” Sutter said Friday, referring to the fact that Jones joined the Kings as part of their expanded roster during the Stanley Cup playoffs the last two seasons. “You watch, and young guys understand what game days are like. That’s good for them.”
Sutter revealed the reason he started Jones against the Ducks was he didn’t like some habits that slipped into the game of Ben Scrivens, who inherited the starting position after No. 1 goalie Jonathan Quick suffered a groin strain Nov. 12.
“Just little things,” Sutter said. “You can’t do it at this level. You’re going to get scored on. We did a lot of work with Ben at training camp to get him into our program. There’s a reason why we don’t give up a lot of shots. There’s a reason we don’t give up a lot of goals around our net. … A big reason is the goaltender. If he’s getting away from that, he’s not going to play.”