The Los Angeles Kings will be without starting goaltender Jonathan Quick over the long term. That's bad news for a team that has started the season 0-3-0 and who currently sit at the bottom of the Pacific Division. Lisa Dillman, a sports reporter for the Los Angeles Times, tweeted about the injury update on Wednesday morning.

According to Dillman's grammar-and-spelling-butchered tweet "Recovery and rehab aren't always predictable but Kings General Manger Dean Lombard said he is expecting Quick to be out 'about 3 months'" <sic>. "Kings" should probably be possessive, "Manger" should be "Manager", and "Lombard" should be "Lombardi." Furthermore, she used single quotes instead of double, something you only do when a quote is within a quote as my quote of her was (see her tweet far below).

I guess I'm under pressure to mind my own spelling and grammar now -- so here goes.

Los Angeles' season changes complexion

The news that Quick will miss three months drastically changes the complexion of the current season for the Kings. If we take the timeline at face value then Quick won't be back until mid-to-late January. By then I'm expecting the Kings to be well out of the Pacific Division race, but perhaps still in contention for a low playoff seed.

So far through three games Los Angeles have looked to Jeff Zatkoff to hold down the fort in net. So far he has failed at that as he has been tagged with all three of Los Angeles' goaltending losses. His save percentage so far is an egregious .839, his goals-against average is 4.38, and Tuesday-night's loss was particularly dismal.

Before getting yanked in what ended up being a 6-3 loss to Minnesota, Zatkoff allowed five goals on just sixteen shots.

Both the Quick injury and Zatkoff's ineffectiveness might thrust 34-year old Peter Budaj into the limelight in Los Angeles. The journeyman has a career save percentage of .903 and he stopped all shots he faced against Minnesota after coming in to relieve Zatkoff on Tuesday.

While he might be effective over a short range,it would be out of left field to see Budaj keep the Kings in contention.

What's next for Los Angeles?

Trade rumors or transaction rumors are probably going to start buzzing soon.

However, the Kings might just take it on the chin for the next three months before getting Quick back. Perhaps they can stay close enough to a playoffpositionto make a charge in the last half of the current NHL season.

As for the immediate future, the Kings will be in Dallas on Thursday night for a game against the Stars (5:30pm PT). I see Budaj as the probable starting goaltender following his 9-for-9 outing on Tuesday. But I think the game will go to Dallas and that many others that are ahead in the scheduling between now and mid-January will not go LA's way either.

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