Kings goalie Jonathan Quick’s numbers are down in one key category
Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, who is scheduled to start against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday at Staples Center, has compiled impressive numbers in eight starts this season.
His 1.84 goals-against average and .936 save percentage rank among the league leaders. So does his total of seven wins. Yet, Quick said he doesn’t pay much attention to statistics.
“You see them because game sheets come out and you look at their players and you’re going to see your own numbers there, but I don’t think those numbers mean too much,” he said. “The only number is wins. The team’s winning. If you’re helping the team win, that’s the only thing you can really judge yourself on.
“Those numbers are always skewed. I saw 40 shots against New Jersey [last Saturday] and they probably had only five grade-A chances, maybe. Not even. So those numbers really don’t mean too much.”
One number that is relevant: Quick’s time on ice. He has played 488 minutes 45 seconds, which isn’t among the NHL leaders in that category. Coach Terry Murray played him too much last season — he appeared in 72 games — and promised this season to give Quick more breaks. So far, Murray has lived up to his promise; backup Jonathan Bernier has started three games and is scheduled to be in net Saturday at home against the Nashville Predators.
Physical and mental stress took a toll on Quick late last season. He has looked and felt sharp, though he said he won’t know until January and February whether he will benefit from getting fewer starts.
“I do feel a bit better out there. I will admit that,” he said. “But I do think it’s the system that we’re playing in the defensive zone. Our penalty kill is playing really well. We’ve got guys blocking shots, doing a great job in front of the net. I’m getting a ton of help and it’s making my life a lot easier. I think a lot of it is numbers, and wins are showing how well we’re playing in the defensive zone.”
No doubts for Doughty
Defenseman Drew Doughty, scheduled to return Thursday after sitting out six games because of a concussion, praised his teammates for compiling a 4-2 record during his absence.
“It was great. I thought the guys played fantastic,” he said Wednesday after the team practiced in El Segundo. “I remember even one of the games they lost on the road trip I thought should have been their game and they should have won it. They played great as a team together.
“We’re a good team this year and I think everyone’s starting to realize that. Teams are really going to start keying on us and we’re just really excited to be one of the better teams in the league right now.”
Murray said the team’s record without Doughty “shows a lot of character on the team. Guys stepped up and played very well in the games that he was out.
“I thought Jack Johnson in particular stepped up and took charge of the blue line and showed that he’s a player that’s going to be a pretty darned good player as we keep going with him here in the future. He did a lot of good things when Drew was out of the lineup, on power play and five on five on both sides of the puck.”
All together now …
The return of Doughty and winger Scott Parse will give Murray the full team he hoped to have at the start of the season.
“It’s good to have some choices now,” Murray said. “When we looked at our depth chart in the summertime and penciled players in place, we’ve got all of our top players now available to perform and now we’ll be able to get through some games and see where they all fit. Hopefully find the right chemistry and we can keep things going in the right direction.”
Murray said defenseman Jake Muzzin, assigned to Manchester of the American Hockey League when Doughty became available, simply needs to work on his game.
“A lot of things he does very well. His gaps, his attitude, his gritty play. He had some big hits,” Murray said. “We’ll focus in on one or two areas we want him to give a big push on.”
Johnson, who is eligible to become a restricted free agent after the season, is his own agent. Asked if he had begun talks on a new contract, he sounded like a veteran agent.
“It’s personal stuff that I probably won’t talk about,” he said.