Sports

Jonathan Quick had a leg up on competition with great save

SportsLos Angeles KingsNational Hockey LeagueJonathan QuickAnze KopitarWillie MitchellBlake Wheeler

Upon further review . . .

Teammates were more than impressed with Kings goalie Jonathan Quick's incredible kick save on Blake Wheeler with just under a minute remaining in their 4-2 win over Winnipeg on Saturday night.

Quick was on his stomach and kicked his right leg back to make the save on Wheeler, who was shooting from a sharp angle from the right corner.

The view on the ice was one thing. But it looked even better when the Kings were finally able to watch the replays afterward.

"I wasn't sure why he was down at first," forward Trevor Lewis said Sunday after the team held an optional practice. "I was on the ice and I saw him lift his leg. I had to watch it again today. It was pretty cool. It looked cool. It was a little scary.

"He's an amazing guy. I played with him in Manchester [in the minors] for awhile and there was one in the shootout. He reached behind his back and caught it. It was pretty amazing to see."

Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell joked about it, saying: "What did he [Quick] say? He shouldn't have been out of position like that?"

Actually, yes.

"I wouldn't say I planned it," Quick said. "It was a play where I thought there was somebody in the middle with traffic and they were trying to shoot it. Or, it looked like they were shooting, and I kind of bit on the fake and he passed it down to the goal line. So I was just scrambling to get over there.

"I got my stick caught up in somebody in front of me. He didn't shoot it at first. I thought I had time to get up and then he shoots it, so I was caught in the middle of getting up, so I just stuck the leg up."

Selke talk

Yes, it's that time of the year again.

The Anze Kopitar-for-Selke campaign. That would be the league's Selke Award, given to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game.

Kings Coach Darryl Sutter, a little more than a year ago, first made a strong pitch for Kopitar, saying he was the best all-around centerman that he had coached.

After Saturday's win, Kopitar's new linemate, Marian Gaborik, jumped into the fray and endorsed Kopitar for the Selke. Mitchell, for his part, said he was "very surprised" Kopitar had not won the award, adding that he thought the Kings center right now was probably the best two-way player in the game.

It should be noted, for all the current buzz about East Coast bias, two players from the Western Conference have won the Selke in the last three years: Jonathan Toews of Chicago in 2013 and Ryan Kesler of Vancouver in 2011.

If the shoe fits . . .

Mitchell is picking up his share of points these days, collecting two assists in Saturday's win. It was his first multi-point game in nearly two years, since a three-assist game against the San Jose Sharks on April 5, 2012.

He missed all of last season because of knee issues, and felt his game finally elevated after Christmas.

"I went horseback riding and the guy gave me a horseshoe so that might be it," he said, joking about his recent offensive output. "Got it sitting upright at the house and it's supposed to catch all that luck.

"It's been a challenging season for myself, coming off knee surgeries, not playing for 17 months. I didn't feel good about my game; sometimes you can chase it when you try too hard."

Up next for the Kings

vs. Minnesota

When: 7 p.m.

On the air: TV: NBCSN; Radio: 1150.

Etc.: It is expected that goalie Ilya Bryzgalov will start against the Kings and that struggling forward Dany Heatley will be scratched again, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Heatley was a healthy scratch for Saturday's game against Phoenix, the first time in his career. He has played in 861 NHL regular-season games.

lisa.dillman@latimes.com

Twitter: @reallisa

Times staff writer Helene Elliott contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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SportsLos Angeles KingsNational Hockey LeagueJonathan QuickAnze KopitarWillie MitchellBlake Wheeler
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