Campbell injury adds to Kings’ frustrating season
Nothing is going right for the Los Angeles Kings this season.
Already stuck with the league’s worst record and having just fired their coach, the team announced on Monday that goalie Jack Campbell will be sidelined for the next four-to-six weeks due to a torn meniscus.
Rookie Cal Petersen has been recalled from the Ontario Reign of the American Hockey League to take his place.
This is problematic for the Kings because Campbell has taken over the starting goaltending duties while regular starter Jonathan Quick continues to recover from his own meniscus injury that has sidelined him since Oct. 23.
Not only had Campbell taken over the starting role, he has been one of the few bright spots on the team during this otherwise abysmal start. As of Monday, he had a .923 save percentage on the season and had been especially good in November with a .939 save percentage in his past five appearances. That includes a 35-save effort over the weekend when he lost a tough-luck 1-0 decision to the Calgary Flames.
[Related: Kings’ problems run far deeper than their coach]
Now he is out, too, and a team that is 31st in the league in goal scored (only 2.06 goals per game) is going to have to rely on an unproven rookie that has yet to play an NHL game, and a 36-year-old Peter Budaj to keep the puck out of their own net.
Budaj has appeared in just one game this season for the Kings, stopping 10 out of 11 shots.
Petersen, meanwhile, was originally a fifth-round draft pick by the Buffalo Sabres in 2013 and was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent in July, 2017. He signed with the Kings after an incredibly successful collegiate career at Notre Dame, and in his first year of pro hockey finished the 2017-18 season with a .910 save percentage for Ontario.
So far this season his play has dropped off considerably as he had just an .881 save percentage in his first 10 games.
In other words: Good luck, Willie Desjardins. You are going to need it.