The Kings and the St. Louis Blues have showed, this season, that there’s no single, foolproof way to handle goalies. The Kings have leaned heavily on Jonathan Quick, who will make his 62nd start of the season tonight. The Blues have split their games between Jaroslav Halak (43 starts) and Brian Elliott (31), who will get the nod tonight. It’s hard to argue with either approach, as the Blues rank first in the Western Conference in fewest goals allowed, while the Kings are second. Darryl Sutter today was asked about goalie use, particularly in terms of whether playing on the West Coast — with more strenuous travel — impacts the way that coaches play their goalies.
SUTTER: “I think it depends on how your team plays, and I do think it depends on your schedule. Other than that, I don’t think there is an answer. You try to manage their practice time, if you have a guy that is playing lots, but sometimes you’ve got to be careful with that too, because guys can get into bad habits. That was the thing here, two or three weeks ago. People thought Jonathan (Quick) was tired. Well, he wasn’t tired, that’s for sure. He was developing some (bad) habits in practice. Those No. 1 guys, those top guys, in practice they’re spot-on. You can’t score on them. There’s no rebounds. When that starts to happen in practice, they’re human, and that happens in games. That’s where your goaltender coaches have to be right on top of it. If they miss it, that’s a responsibility that becomes really important.’’