NHL pluses and minuses: Jonathan Quick closing in on award

Los Angeles Times columnist Helene Elliott rates the pluses and minuses in the NHL from the previous week:

+ Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick is on the verge of winning the Jennings Trophy, which goes to "the goalkeeper(s) having played a minimum of 25 games for the team with the fewest goals scored against." The oddity is that Quick has played only 47 games. Ben Scrivens played 19 before the Kings traded him to Edmonton, and Martin Jones has played 18. It's a significant award and would be a first for the Kings.

+ The Boston Bruins clinched the No. 1 spot in the East last Saturday with a 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers, extending their surge to 16-1-2. Jarome Iginla has missed two of their last three games because of an undisclosed injury, but their depth has kept them rolling. They haven't lost three straight games this season.

+ Colorado's 4-0 victory over St. Louis on Saturday was its 50th win, a mark it had previously reached only in 2000-01 en route to winning its second Stanley Cup. Coach Patrick Roy's team has overcome the loss of Matt Duchene (knee injury) to go 6-0-1 and pass Chicago for second in the Central division.

- Alexander Ovechkin offered a weak excuse after being called out by Capitals Coach Adam Oates for quitting on a play against Dallas last week. "I think everyone quit on the play," Ovechkin said. Not good enough for your supposed leader. There's a reason his defensive rating is minus-35 even though he has scored 49 goals.

- Goaltender Jonathan Bernier can't catch a break. After being stuck behind Quick in Los Angeles, Bernier was traded to Toronto and subjected to an average of more than 32 shots per game. He acquitted himself well but last Thursday sustained a season-ending strained knee ligament.

- It's all but a lock that only one of the seven NHL teams based in Canada will make the playoffs. The Montreal Canadiens are in, but Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg were eliminated long ago. Vancouver was eliminated in Monday's loss to the Ducks, and Toronto and Ottawa are just about done. The last Canadian team to win the Cup was Montreal, in 1993. It's not as much fun without Canadian teams and media.


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