Quick might quickly be called into service

Times Staff Writer

From Reading to getting ready for possible NHL action.

It hasn’t quite been an overnight transition for youngster Jonathan Quick, but close enough to dazzle the 21-year-old goalie, who joined the Kings on Sunday via emergency recall.

He started this season with the Reading (Pa.) Royals of the East Coast Hockey League, went to the Kings’ American Hockey League affiliate in Manchester for about two weeks, and then off to Los Angeles when Kings starter Jason LaBarbera went out because of a rib injury suffered Saturday, thanks to Colorado’s Ryan Smyth.

Quick could very well get some action, considering the rash of injuries, that J.S. Aubin hasn’t been completely healthy and back-to-back games against the Phoenix Coyotes tonight and Buffalo Sabres on Thursday.


Think about Quick’s journey: Capacity of Reading’s home rink, is 7,221. For Monday’s game against the Oilers, Quick sat on the bench, backing up Aubin in cavernous Staples Center.

“I took my time taping my sticks on the bench, just looking around,” Quick said Tuesday after practice. “The team helped me through it. I really didn’t know the whole protocol of going out and knowing what we have to do for warmups.”

He wasn’t the only one feeling a little lost Monday. LaBarbera, who won’t be making the trip with the team to Phoenix, felt at odds.

“I felt like a lost puppy yesterday,” LaBarbera said. “I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. How am I supposed to act, almost? I don’t like it. It’s real weird. I’m not used to it.”

LaBarbera joked that he is becoming “best friends” with ice, and said the most pain he felt was driving his car on Sunday.

“It was 10 minutes of, ‘Get me out of here,’ ” he said.

(Wisely, his girlfriend has taken over driving duties.)

Coach Marc Crawford took note of Quick’s attitude at practice. In Manchester, Quick was 1-2 with a 2.67 goals-against-average and a .909 save percentage.

“I’ll tell you one thing, it was really noticeable, that Quick kid, he’s a hard worker,” Crawford said. “And you start to see our guys sharpen up in their shooting because he works so hard.”


at Phoenix, 6:30 PST

Site -- Arena.

Radio -- 1150.

Records -- Kings 10-14-2, Coyotes 11-14-0.

Record vs. Coyotes -- 0-2.

Update -- It can only get better against the Coyotes, right? Two games have not only meant two losses but only one goal scored by the Kings. Still, the Coyotes are suddenly struggling again, having lost four consecutive games since beating Toronto on Nov. 24.