Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick takes All-Star honor in stride
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Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, named to the NHL All-Star team Thursday, had a typically low-key reaction to his first All-Star honor, the first for a Kings goalie since Mario Lessard in 1981.
“It’s a great accomplishment. It’s something I’m looking forward to do at the end of the month,” he said, talking about the Jan. 29 game after the Kings skated in El Segundo in advance of Thursday’s game against the Dallas Stars at Staples Center.
“But right now we’ve got a lot of things going on here. We’ve got a big game tonight against Dallas. That’s ultimately what we’re all focused on.”
The only other Kings goalies to make an All-Star team were Terry Sawchuk in 1968, Rogie Vachon in 1973, 1975 and 1978, and Lessard. Quick enters Thursday’s game with the fourth-best goals-against average (1.93), fifth-best save percentage (.934), a league-leading six shutouts and eighth-best number of wins (18).
Quick said he didn’t know any of the other all-stars and that he found out he would be taking part in the game in Ottawa when Coach Darryl Sutter gave him the news on the ice at the end of the morning skate. He joked that his teammates didn’t treat him like an all-star.
The other all-star goalies are scheduled to be Boston’s Tim Thomas, Detroit’s Jimmy Howard, Montreal’s Carey Price, the New York Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist and St. Louis’ Brian Elliott. Here’s a link to the entire roster.
Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said Quick had earned the recognition.
“He more than deserves it,” Doughty said. “He’s stood on his head for us all year. Obviously everyone knows we’re struggling to score and we’re still in eighth place, and a lot of that credit has to go to him. He’s stood on his head many times, won us many games, played great all season for us. I’m really happy for him.”
Defenseman Jack Johnson agreed. “I think it’s about time he got some recognition outside of our small, little hockey world here in L.A.,” he said. “I don’t think he gets the credit he deserves just because we play out here in Los Angeles. It’s well-deserved.”
Sutter called Quick’s selection “a formality.”
“You take six goalies, and he’s top five or top six in all the four categories, so the only way that he could get is overlooked is just maybe because he’s out of the loop a little. I think it’s an easy decision,” Sutter said.
Sutter also said he planned one lineup change against the Stars and will play defenseman Slava Voynov. Alec Martinez will come out of the lineup.
-- Helene Elliott