The Kings released Mathieu Garon from his training camp tryout, which opens the door for Ben Scrivens to serve as Jonathan Quick’s backup in 2013-14.
Though evaluations aren’t based on small sample sizes, Scrivens appeared to solidify his status as Quick’s understudy with a strong performance in just over 32 minutes of action last night, stopping 17 of 18 shots in a 3-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche. The Kings led 2-1 when he gave way to Garon.
Though Scrivens is under contract at a palatable $550,000 and was acquired from Toronto as part of the Jonathan Bernier trade that also netted Matt Frattin and a second round draft pick, he still had to prove himself through competition in order to earn a spot on the team’s roster. There was a line of thought that Garon, a 35-year-old veteran who tended goal in Los Angeles from 2005-07, was more comfortable in a backup role and earning minimal starts, while Scrivens, a 27-year-old goaltender who split time with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Marlies over the last two seasons, would be more comfortable in a role in which he drew more minutes. Ultimately, the Kings decided on forging ahead with the goaltender who appeared sturdier in his preseason action and will provide the team higher quality minutes in games in which Jonathan Quick needs a night off.
Last season, Scrivens was 7-9-2 with a 2.69 goals against average and a .915 save percentage over 20 games with the Maple Leafs. He has appeared in 1,696 minutes through his NHL career.