NHL: Crawford won’t rush a decision on the team’s No. 1 goaltender. By Rich Hammond STAFF WRITER The NHL season will begin in the land of kings, not Kings. Sometime amid all that travel and training, the Kings need to find a goaltender. Or do they? By any measure, last season was a mess in goal. The Kings allowed the fifth-most goals in the NHL, used five goalies and, admittedly, made a mistake by handing the job to Dan Cloutier before the season. Even though Cloutier was coming off knee surgery, Crawford kept only two goalies, Cloutier and Mathieu Garon, on the roster at the start of the season. The demotion of Jason LaBarbera to the minors meant that he was stuck there all season, as the Kings risked losing him off waivers if they attempted to recall him. “I just made the decision way before I had to,” Crawford said. “I know why I made it. I came from a market (as coach in Vancouver) where I spent eight years, and the No. 1 goalie was a big subject and you wanted to get that out of the way. We won’t make that mistake this year.” LaBarbera is coming off an outstanding season in the AHL and Cloutier, presumably, is healthy. Free agent addition Jean-Sebastien Aubin, Swedish import Erik Ersberg and rookie Jonathan Bernier will also get looks, but Crawford said he will be comfortable if he still doesn’t have a No. 1 goalie by Sept. 29. “Absolutely,” Crawford said. “We don’t need to make a decision right now.” Because of the condensed training camp and long trip, the Kings will be allowed to carry three goalies in London, but they will need to have their roster cut to 22 skaters by the time they leave for Europe. That means getting a good look at free agent additions such as Kyle Calder, Michal Handzus, Jon Klemm, Ladislav Nagy, Tom Preissing and Brad Stuart and figuring out how the pieces will fit together. [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! England will get its first look at NHL hockey this month, when the Kings and Ducks open the regular season with a two-game series Sept. 29-30 in London. It might not be such a jolly old time for the Kings. That’s because training camp, which begins today in El Segundo, will be accelerated. The Kings have only nine days to practice in Southern California and plenty of questions to answer before the season begins. Coming off a dreadful season, in which they finished with the league’s third-worst record, the Kings will have to resolve their issues quickly. Who is the No. 1 goaltender? How will the defense – with two free agent additions and one rookie – mesh together? Who will lead a relatively young group of forwards? “That’s just the way it is for the Kings this year,” Coach Marc Crawford said. “With us going over to Europe early, we’ve got to make decisions maybe a little quicker than we normally would.” The condensed training camp will include three preseason games in nine days in Southern California, starting Thursday in Anaheim. The Kings will play at Colorado on Sept. 19, face the Avalanche in Las Vegas on Sept. 22 then head to Europe for a trip that includes a two-game tournament in Austria.