When the Kings went through eastern Canada earlier in the week, one of the takes from Drew Doughty, on the state of the Kings, involved his goalie.
“How Quickie hasn’t won a Vezina blows my mind,” Doughty said.
That would be the Vezina Trophy for best goaltender, something that Jonathan Quick hasn’t won and that Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price has. Doughty pointed to the time difference because East Coast fans don’t get to see the Kings play.
All that juxtaposed in dramatic ways Thursday, when Quick’s 46th career shutout, in his 500th career game, sent two teams hurtling in opposite directions. Quick made 40 saves in a 4-0 win, while Price was beaten soundly on two of the goals and drew sarcastic cheers from the 21,302 fans at the Bell Centre.
In an atypical thoughtful postgame session, Quick felt for his colleague.
“Well, you certainly hear it,” Quick said. “They kept fighting, though. It’s not like they gave up. They were fighting to the end. It’s unfortunate. It’s probably not so deserving for Price there. He’s arguably the best goalie in the world. You hate to see that happen to him, but he’s the best. He’s one of the best, and they have a great hockey team and they’re going to right the ship.”
Quick’s sentiments spoke to the Kings’ 8-1-1 start. He’s been the backbone, and he offered a steady rudder during a first-period storm that eventually saw the Kings come alive with goals by Adrian Kempe and Tyler Toffoli. Anze Kopitar and Kurtis MacDermid also scored with MacDermid getting his first NHL goal.
Kings coach John Stevens offered huge praise for Quick, especially given that it came against Price and a fragile Canadiens team.
“I think the guys all knew it was his 500th game, and I told the guys after the game that might be one of the best goaltending performances I’ve ever seen,” Stevens said. “It was tremendous.… Honestly, it might be as good as I’ve ever seen him play.”
Stevens credited Quick for helping provide offense just from his energy. He was tested early with a 16-save opening period. Kopitar was glad it came in this atmosphere, among the best in hockey.
“I think the rest of the league is getting to know what he’s all about,” Kopitar said. “Right now, I don’t want to jinx it, but he’s up there, for sure.… He’s there when we need him to be, and that’s, I think, the biggest thing for this team is that sometimes we’re going to make mistakes, but we have him back there.”
Kempe got the Kings going with a deflection goal, which followed his hat trick against the Canadiens this month. Toffoli beat Price cleanly with a shot from the right faceoff dot.
Kopitar put the Kings ahead, 3-0, on a wicked shot past Price and under the crossbar for his seventh goal. MacDermid finished a miserable night for Price with a put-it-on-net shot that went in. He broke into a smile that immediately made its way to social media.
“I can’t describe it,” MacDermid said. “It’s a dream come true.”
It was humble moment for the defenseman from Sauble Beach, Canada, a small resort town. His parents, Paul and Pam, had made a seven-hour drive to Ottawa on Tuesday to see him play.
It was another scrapbook moment for the dialed-in Kings. Quick, of all players, described the feeling.
“We enjoy coming to the rink and working,” he said. “We have a great group of guys, so it makes it fun. We keep it light. Guys enjoy pushing each other. So it’s something that I’ve noticed so far in the beginning part of the season here.”
Michael Amadio made his NHL debut when Nick Shore was a late scratch with a minor injury, the team said.