Kings goalie Jonathan Quick says he is rested and ready
Hockey’s time-honored mentality dictates that no matter the injury, you tape an aspirin to it and go back out there. No self-respecting player would beg out of a game because he’s tired.
Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, who has played a career-high 4,041 minutes, did not ask to sit while Jonathan Bernier started and won the last two games. But Quick said Friday having time to refine his game will benefit him Saturday night when he faces the Ducks at Staples Center with the Kings’ magic number to clinch a playoff spot at four points.
“You’re going day to day. You’re taking one day at a time. Along the way you are going to feel fatigue, either mentally or physically,” Quick said. “But you just kind of every day talk yourself into being up for the game no matter how you’re feeling.
“Regardless, I think those two games off there was a good respite. Mentally and physically I feel good. I got three solid days of practice these last three days here. I feel confident about my game and I feel confident about the team’s game. They’ve been playing well.”
He said he worked on several aspects of his game, including controlling rebounds and seeing the puck all the way through when he makes a save.
“These past few days I feel like I got three real solid puck practices. I saw a lot of pucks,” he said. “So I feel comfortable and confident.”
If it seems illogical to give extra work to a goalie whose mental and physical energy were depleted, it made sense to Quick. In practice he could zero in on his technique without the duress of a playoff race.
“It’s a mental workout every game,” he said. Seeing a lot of rubber in a 75-minute practice is “not too long, and you’re going hard and I feel good.”
With Quick revived and Erik Ersberg cleared to play after recovering from a strained back, the Kings returned Bernier to Manchester of the American Hockey League. He was voted to the AHL’s first all-star team this week, the Kings’ lone honoree.
“Bernier, in looking at how he played these past two games, just needs to continue to go. He’s doing the right things,” Coach Terry Murray said. “His development throughout the year has been tremendous, and on the other side of it Jonathan Quick’s our No. 1 goaltender.”
Quick said he was glad Murray affirmed his status, but he hadn’t feared otherwise.
“I never felt like my job was in jeopardy at all,” Quick said. “I know Bernier is a great goalie. He’s a tremendous goalie. But I’ve been with this team all year and I’ve been battling with this team all year and we’re all looking forward to going into the playoffs here.”
Murray said forward Jeff Halpern will be out at least a week after suffering an upper-body injury Thursday on a nasty hit by Vancouver’s Tanner Glass. Although it appeared to be the kind of head-shot the NHL vowed to punish via supplementary discipline Glass wasn’t suspended. Raitis Ivanans will replace Halpern on Saturday.