Shutout King

Posted: October 25, 2011 by goaliesgetmorebetches in Los Angeles Kings
Tags: , , ,

Jonathan Quick.

On Saturday night, October 22nd, history was made for the Los Angeles Kings. Goalie Jonathan Quick recorded his third consecutive shutout victory for the Kings in a 1-0 triumph over division rival Dallas. His steak of 188 minutes and ten seconds without allowing a goal is the longest in team history, eclipsing Rogie Vachon’s previous record of 184minutes and 55 seconds established in 1975. Quick also becomes the first NHL goalie to earn 3 straight shutouts since Columbus’ Steve Mason in 2008.

Quick’s streak began on October 18th in Los Angeles, the Kings’ home opener against the St. Louis Blues in which Quick stopped 26 en route to a 5-0 win. Two nights later in Phoenix, Quick stopped 28 in a 2-0 victory over the Coyotes, a tight checking affair where some big saves, particularly late in the game, were the difference. Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Dallas was a goaltending duel between Quick and Stars’ goalie Andrew Raycroft, a game in which Dallas outshot the Kings and Quick made Jack Johnson’s lone goal with 4:58 remaining hold up.

While Quick has been known among goalie critics and Kings’ fans as an extremely athletic player who fits his surname, the past couple of seasons have seen Quick focus on fundamentals like positioning and rebound control to go with perhaps the league’s best butterfly movement – few goalies look as smooth with their down movement. He’s also spent time working on his puckhandling ability, something that’s perhaps been a knock on him in this past. 2011-12 has thus far seen Quick very effectively setting up and delivering the puck to his defense on the breakout. His continued development has put him among the NHL’s elite, and it would be fair to say he’s been the best goalie in the entire NHL in his first six starts.

The streak has finally started to earn Quick some credit among hockey fans and media, and perhaps now the NHL knows what the fans in LA have for a couple of seasons now: Quick is one of the NHL’s best. While it’s still early in the NHL season, at press time Quick is 5-0-1 with a .81 goals against average and a superhuman .972 save percentage. It would be fair to expect those numbers not to remain quite where they’re at now throughout the season  – but if he plays even close to as well as he has thus far he’ll be in the conversation for the Vezina trophy and perhaps the Hart at season’s end.

While the numbers and accolades are quite nice, what the Kings and their fans really want is a Cup parade in LA. With depth down the middle to rival anybody and one of the premiere defensive units in the league, Quick could very well be the guy to help the Kings’ win the franchise’s first Cup in it’s 45 year history.

The streak will be safe at least until Thursday, as Quick’s understudy Jonathan Bernier will start against New Jersey at home Tuesday, which would leave Quick in line to resume to streak Thursday at Dallas. Phoenix’s Brian Boucher earned 5 consecutive shutouts in 2003, and while it would be very difficult for Quick to match that (or Alec Connell’s all-time record of 8 games plus), you never know what might happen.

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Comments
  1. Kingie says:

    Making history and setting records left and right. It’s so nice to have good goaltending again! I thought it was kinda weird that Murray is putting Bernier in after three consecutive shutouts, but I guess Quick can’t play em all.

  2. JoeyD says:

    “They aint fast but they got quick!” — Joe Theisman

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