Ben Scrivens Becoming More Than A Backup For Los Angeles Kings

By Jonathan Katje
Los Angeles Kings Scrivens
Jayne Kamin-Oncea – USA TODAY Sports

For the second consecutive season, the Los Angeles Kings are seeing just how important a good backup goaltender can be. Last season it was Jonathan Bernier posting a 9-3-1 record while playing as Jonathan Quick struggled, and this season Ben Scrivens has posted a 5-1-1 record and has won his last four starts while filling in while Quick is injured. The Kings traded Bernier to the Toronto Maple Leafs over the summer, getting Scrivens, Matt Frattin and a draft pick in return. So far, the deal has worked out well for both teams with Bernier off to a successful start in Toronto and Scrivens shining in L.A.

Last season, Scrivens was 7-9-0 with a 2.69 goals-against average while backing up James Reimer in Toronto. He not only has five wins this season, but a 1.35 goals-against average, .949 save percentage and three shutouts. Quick has carried the bulk of the workload, and while he’s had some rough outings he still boasts a 10-5-0 record with a 2.35 goals-against average and a shutout. A groin injury will keep him sidelined for at least a little bit longer, leaving the Kings with Scrivens and Martin Jones. So far, Scrivens’ play has made it unnecessary to put in Jones, a solid AHL netminder who has yet to play in the NHL.

The Kings currently find themselves in great position in the standings at the quarter pole, as their 31 points has them tied with the San Jose Sharks and Phoenix Coyotes, trailing the Anaheim Ducks (32 points) for the Pacific Division lead. If Scrivens can keep playing this well in net, they should still be near the top of the standings when Quick returns. They’ll have to make a decision on Scrivens at the end of the season, but he’s definitely making a case for a contract extension.

Jonathan Katje is an NHL featured columnist for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter or add him to your circles on Google Plus.

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