EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — The Los Angeles Kings have one position without any questions as goaltenders Jonathan Quick and Martin Jones are locked up with long-term contracts for the foreseeable futures.
But some have questioned Quick after a postseason where he gave up an uncharacteristically high number of goals. Starting in the first round, Quick gave up more through each series than any other goalie, a strange twist of fate for the one that gave up only six in 2012 Stanley Cup Final.
Quick redeemed himself when it mattered the most, making an array of dazzling and at times acrobatic saves to keep the Kings in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals and win another Stanley Cup. People took notice.
"This past postseason, we gave up a lot at times," Quick said. "You’ll hear it both ways, obviously there’s a respect factor where guys will make a good play and then obviously there’s times when I make a great play and guys are like, ‘Yeah, we saw that.’ "
The Jennings Trophy, awarded to the team and specifically the goalie that gives up the least amount of goals in the regular season, was awarded to Quick this season. Jones, who won his first eight NHL starts, and former Kings goalie Ben Scrivens, now with Edmonton, had a little to do with that as they held down the fort when Quick was out with a groin injury, but the regular season numbers hadn’t declined much. So why the sudden goal explosion in the playoffs?
Quick said it all started with one off night in San Jose.
"I remember looking back at the San Jose series," he said. "And you play them last year, you played them four years, or three years ago, and then we played them again this year and I think it was a bit emotionally draining, that series alone.
"We’re going to play Game 1 against Anaheim and I’m already feeling it."
He knew he needed to mentally wipe the slate clean after every game in order to move on.
"No matter what happened, win or lose, going into the game I knew after the game, no matter what the outcome was, I knew where I had to be mentally in order to get ready for the next one," Quick said. "I think it kind of forces you to really stick to that motto of one game at a time when you’re already kind of feeling a little bit of that fatigue factor, especially that early in the playoffs."
He’s now wiped the slate of the postseason clean. Ready to celebrate with his teammates after a hard-earned Cup victory, he’s also ready to reset for another season.