In this edition of Los Angeles Kings News & Rumors, I discuss Calvin Petersen’s return to the lineup and Brock Faber’s invitation to Team USA. I also go over Jeff Carter’s eventful first game back in LA which included the 700-point milestone for Dustin Brown and Samuel Fagemo’s NHL debut.
Petersen Impressive in Return
Petersen spent the vast majority of December in COVID protocol; he only played two games at the start of the month. While he had a tough start to the beginning of the season, he came back into the lineup strong, playing two stellar games since his return.
He played Jan. 8 versus the Detroit Red Wings, recording a shutout, and Jan. 10 versus the New York Rangers, posting a .957 save percentage (SV%). Since his return, he has also shown the best goals saved above expected (GSAx) in the league with 3.37. These games have brought his season totals to a .904 SV%, 2.70 goals-against average (GAA), and -0.72 GSAx.
Head Coach Todd McLellan commented on Petersen’s play versus the Rangers: “I thought [the goaltending] was outstanding again…30 seconds into the game and he had to make a huge save, that could have changed the night, but he made some really good ones. He’s worked real hard the last month to do what he’s done in the last six periods. Good for him, he deserves the accolades he’s getting right now.”
Heading into this season, most thought Petersen would be the starter for the Kings. However, considering his lack of consistency this season and Quick’s outstanding start — he has put up a .921 SV%, 2.40 GAA, and 12.13 GSAx — the team is looking to fall into a goaltending rotation.
McLellan also commented on the rotation going forward: “We’re going to go into, beginning tomorrow, basically playing every second night for sure and some nights back-to-back…The rotation is going to be fairly even, if [both goaltenders] keep it up. Then, we’re going to get into a break and we’ll do it all over again. The normal part of was what we just went through, play a few, have two days off, every so often get a three-day break. Because of the Olympic break, that was scheduled in, it jams everything else up at the backend, not just for us but for everybody. They’re both going to have to play.”
If both Petersen and Quick can stay hot, the Kings will be in great shape moving forward and will likely be playoff contenders.
Brown Scores 700th Point, Fagemo Makes NHL Debut in Carter’s Return to L.A.
Thursday night in Los Angeles was an eventful one. The game versus the Pittsburgh Penguins was Carter’s first in LA since he was traded in April for a 2022 third-round pick and a 2023 fourth-round pick. Carter was traded as a part of the team’s rebuild, tearing down the old core before bringing in the next generation of Kings. Fagemo is one of these players who is part of the future core and he also made his NHL debut on Thursday.
Kris Letang got the scoring going in the first period which was answered by Anze Kopitar. Towards the end of the second, Brown scored to make it 2-1 Kings — the goal was also his 700th career point. The third period was a chaotic one; Radim Zohorna scored under two minutes in before LA piled it on. The team scored three goals in 1:23; the goals came from Mikey Anderson, Viktor Arvidsson, and Kopitar. Sean Durzi finished off the scoring for a final score of 6-2.
Fagemo had a tough first game; he was a minus-one on the night and recorded a 32.73 Corsi for percentage (CF%) and a 20.21 expected goals for percentage (xGF%). In other words, the Kings didn’t possess the puck for most of his time on ice and were expected to be heavily outscored during his shifts. Fagemo has elite offensive abilities, and Kings fans should start looking for him to display them soon.
Faber Named to Team USA Olympic Roster
With NHL players out of the Olympics, Kings prospect Brock Faber has been named to Team USA. The team — which was announced on Thursday — is made of majority NCAA players, Faber included. LA’s second-round pick from the 2020 NHL Draft has played this season with the University of Minnesota, putting up two goals and nine assists through 20 games.
Faber was also named as the alternate captain of Team USA for the 2022 World Junior Championship. He will look to showcase his elite skating and defensive skill as he continues to represent his country this winter in Beijing.
Advanced Stats per Evolving-Hockey
Zackary Weiner is a high school student from New York City who covers the Los Angeles Kings here at The Hockey Writers. He is a lifelong hockey fan and player, and his previous experience includes writing articles about the NHL for various online publications. His articles cover a wide variety of topics that concern the Kings and he takes into account a range of viewpoints, making his articles a perfect read for anyone who wants to stay up to date on the team. Zackary is more than happy to get into a conversation with fellow Kings fans, so feel free to leave a comment below any of his articles like this one to let him know your opinion and what you want to see next. You can also listen to him talk about the team on Fantasy Hockey Life and The Hockey Writers Live.