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Enroth ‘really thought’ Kings would play him more

Jhonas Enroth

Los Angeles Kings goalie Jhonas Enroth, of Sweden, deflects a shot off the stick of a Colorado Avalanche player in the first period of an NHL hockey game, Monday, Jan. 4, 2016, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


Situation worth monitoring in L.A. behind No. 1 netminder Jonathan Quick -- in his exit interview, backup Jhonas Enroth said he wasn’t thrilled about his usage this season.

“Just being a bigger part of the team is what I would like to do in the summer,” Enroth, a pending UFA, told the Los Angeles Times. “I really thought they were going to play me more.

“If you sign a guy for $1.2 million, you’re not going to play him 13 games, in my opinion.”

Enroth, signed to a one-year deal on the opening day of free agency last summer, made 16 appearances -- 13 starts -- and finished with just 856 minutes to Quick’s whopping 4034.

At first glance, that disparity might seem alarming... until you remember that, last season, Martin Jones only made 11 starts, and recorded just 775 minutes.

Quick played 4184.

This, in a nutshell, is the problem any backup netminder faces in Los Angeles. Quick is a workhorse, regardless of the circumstances-- last year, the Kings were fighting for a playoff spot, and he played a ton.

This year, they were in comfortably, and he played a ton.

What was odd about this year, though, was that Enroth showed pretty well in his limited body of work. He finished with a .922 save percentage (.937 at 5-on-5, one of the better marks in the league.) and posted a .615 quality start percentage, which is a good figure for a backup.

So it remains puzzling why he wasn’t given more work.

Give he turns 28 in June, it’s quite possible Enroth will test the open market and look for a more favorable situation, at least in terms of playing time.

“I thought I earned more games, obviously,” he explained. “I played pretty solid in the games I got, but I got a lot of breaks in between games too, so it’s tough to get a groove going.”