The mania about milestones can cut both ways.
There’s the attention about the pursuit of a career mark. When it comes to a prominent chase, however, the longer it takes the more it can become an anchor.
Monday night in Denver, the Kings against the Colorado Avalanche will feature the intersection of two chases.
First, the one receiving far less attention.
Another shutout for Kings goalie Jonathan Quick and he will stand alone with the most in the NHL for U.S.-born goalies. Quick is tied with John Vanbiesbrouck and Frank Brimsek with 40 shutouts.
Vanbiesbrouck played for five teams and had his 40th shutout in his second-to-last season in the league, playing for the New Jersey Devils.
He was fondly called “Beezer.”
Brimsek, the Minnesota native who won the Stanley Cup with the Boston Bruins in 1939 and 1941, had an even better nickname, especially for a goalie: Mr. Zero. (He would probably be called Brimsey if he played now.)
Quick has come within a period in his last two starts of getting his 41st shutout. On Thursday, Calgary Flames defenseman Mark Giordano stopped Quick’s shutout bid at 3 minutes 36 seconds of the third period in the Kings’ 4-1 victory.
Quick crept even closer Saturday before the Philadelphia Flyers’ Brayden Schenn scored on the power play at 7:50 of the third period. The Kings held on and won their fifth consecutive game, beating Philadelphia, 2-1. But if you know Quick, he’s certainly not obsessing about shutouts.
Then there has been the deliberate, almost agonizing march toward a career milestone — 600 goals — for Colorado forward Jarome Iginla. He scored No. 597 on Nov. 30 and had to wait 10 games to get the next one, on Dec. 19.
Iginla scored No. 599 against Arizona on Dec. 27.
It would have been a picture-perfect moment for the one-time Flames captain and icon to do it against his old team, Calgary, on Saturday night in Denver. Not only did Iginla fail to score but he also had plenty of company as Calgary beat Colorado, 4-0.
The next best thing for Iginla?
Perhaps getting No. 600 against Kings Coach Darryl Sutter, his former coach in Calgary.
Still, Iginla must simply want to get it done, no matter the opponent, before the milestone morphs into a millstone.
KINGS AT COLORADO AVALANCHE
When: Monday, 6 p.m. PST.
On the air: TV: NBCSN; Radio: 790.
Update: Colorado has underachieved at home as only six of its 18 victories have come at Pepsi Center this season. The Kings might not be the hottest team in the NHL — that honor goes to the Florida Panthers, who have won nine consecutive games — but the Kings hold that distinction in the Western Conference, having won five consecutive games.