January 30, 2012 6:00 pm

Back to the `hot hand’ theory in goal?

Should we call them the University of Los Angeles Kings? Darryl Sutter made a good point today when he compared the rest of the season to a “college schedule.” It’s 32 teams, including seven sets of back-to-back games, and a total of 20 road games. That’s a lot of planes and buses and hotel rooms and, even though 2 1/2 months seems like a long time, it will feel like a sprint for the players.

What does it mean for goalies? Jonathan Quick has started 42 of 50 games so far. Before the break, Sutter indicated that Bernier would play more frequently after the All-Star break, but he sounded less certain today. Asked about his general plan for the goalies, Sutter sounded — and this is just one interpretation — that he would start out with Quick and then see what develops from there.

SUTTER: “It’s about winning. We’re in a college schedule now, right? Thirty-two games. It’s about winning hockey games. We’ve got to make the playoffs. It doesn’t bother me who plays. It’s about winning games. You look at our schedule, and we’ve got seven back-to-backs, six of them are on the road. This one (stretch) breaks up into one game at home and six on the road. It’s easy to break our schedule up and look at it and say, `That’s a logical game for Quick, or that’s a logical game for Bernier,’ but now it’s about performance and winning games. It’s simple.”

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