Kings’ Jonathan Quick could spend a lot of time in goal
Could Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick play in 70 or more games during this regular season?
The reason behind the answer is simple: Darryl Sutter is his coach.
So, barring any strange occurrence, the answer is: “Yes.”
Quick, who already has appeared in 50 games, was named the NHL’s No. 1 star of the week, based on these standout numbers — 3-0-0 with a goals-against average of 1.33 and .959 save percentage in that stretch. The second and third stars of the week were Henrik Sedin of the Canucks, and Max Pacioretty of the Montreal Canadiens, respectively.
The Kings are on a seven-game winning streak and Quick’s goals-against average is 1.86 and save percentage .934 during the season-high run.
“Goaltenders get overlooked 100% of the time unless they’re not playing up to standards,” Sutter said. “If I have to pick a goaltender in a big game, I want Jonathan Quick.
“And we’re playing big games, so I want Jonathan Quick.”
The games fall into two categories in the last seven weeks of the season — big and bigger. The Kings are in third place in the Pacific Division, trailing Vancouver by three points, and have 24 games remaining.
They have three more back-to-back situations, so it is conceivable that Quick could play in at least 21 more games, bringing his total to 71. His career high did not come when Sutter was his coach in Los Angeles. It came during the Terry Murray era, when Quick played in 72 games in 2010-11.
Quick and No. 2 goalie Martin Jones absorbed their share of punishment in practice Monday. Jones took a couple of tough blows, one off his collarbone and another off his shoulder, Kings goalies coach Bill Ranford said.
“It was a rough practice for both goalies,” Ranford said. “There’s days like that, a few shots to the heads and the shoulders…. Tough practice for these guys today, but they’ll live. That’s what the equipment is for.”
Ranford revealed that they thought about using Jones against the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday. It turned out Quick was at his very best against the Avalanche, making 42 saves.
“He is the guy that likes to play a lot,” Ranford said of Quick. “It’s kind of ironic we looked at maybe playing Jones in the Colorado game, but we were worried about the five-day break. Five days between games.
“The last time, it kind of bit us in the butt when we did that. So Darryl ultimately makes the decision on who plays and he felt that was too much time off. It was obviously a good choice because Quickie was outstanding in that game in Colorado.”
As the saying goes, the best moves are often the ones not made.
“For me, when you get a goalie on a roll it’s very unfortunate for the other guy; when the goalie is playing well, it’s hard for you to take him out of the net,” Ranford said. “We’ve had situations where we’ve done that and it’s gone the other way on us.”
There have been comparisons between the Kings’ six-game winning streak in October and the current run. But not all streaks are equal.
“The difference in October is we really struggled as a team at that point,” Ranford said. “It was probably the play of Quickie and Jonsey and the [Jeff] Carter line really saved us early on. This is more of a total group effort. We’re starting to get that urgency back in the game that we needed.”
KINGS VS. DETROIT
When: 7:30 p.m. PST, Tuesday.
Where: Staples Center
On the air: TV: Fox Sports West. Radio: 790.
Etc.: Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg was considered doubtful for Detroit’s game against the Ducks on Monday night in Anaheim. Zetterberg was injured Saturday in the second period against the Dallas Stars via a punch to the head from Jamie Benn of the Stars.
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