Darryl Sutter: ‘You pick a goalie in one game, I want Jonathan Quick’
Kings coach Darryl Sutter on Jonathan Quick: 'He's been fabulous. Not just looking at this year's playoffs, I look at the whole body of work. I tell Jonathan all the time, 'You pick a goalie in one game, I want Jonathan Quick."
The Los Angeles Kings goaltender, rumored to have been injured after a taking a puck high in Tuesday’s practice, downplayed the injury during Stanley Cup Media Day. It appears that the momentary panic was somewhat overblown, as Quick took the the optional morning skate before Game 1 on Wednesday morning, and did not appear to have any sort of ailment.
However, the spotlight isn’t likely to leave Quick anytime soon. Alleged injury aside, Quick hasn’t always looked like himself during the postseason and the numbers the show it. He’s given up 59 goals, more than any other goalie that played in a conference final round, and both his goals against average and save percentage have been average.
Average is a little unusual for a goalie like Quick but as Rangers winger Rick Nash points out, he’s still winning the games that matter.
"He’s winning Game 7s. I think those are the numbers that count," Nash said.
Kings head coach Darryl Sutter is unconcerned with the relatively small sample size.
"He’s been fabulous," Sutter said. "Not just looking at this year’s playoffs, I look at the whole body of work. I tell Jonathan all the time, ‘You pick a goalie in one game, I want Jonathan Quick.’"
Quick struggled through the first two periods of Game 7 of the Western Conference finals in Chicago. But he looked like the Quick of old in the third with a few dazzling saves and a few more key ones in overtime.
The Rangers took notice.
"When he’s on he makes saves that you don’t really expect him to make he’s pretty acrobatic and it gives the team momentum, they feed off that," said center Brian Boyle. "He can bail them out."
Regehr available for return
Veteran defenseman Robyn Regehr, who has been nursing a knee injury since the Western Conference semifinals, skated during pregame warmups in Game 7 but was scratched from the lineup. He has been medically cleared and is now available to return to game action as soon as Wednesday night’s Game 1 but it’s unlikely that Sutter will use him.
"He’s getting closer," Sutter said. "With only the one game, the way it’s broke out this week, we probably wouldn’t play him tonight."
Regehr hasn’t played since Game 1 of the Freeway Faceoff series against Anaheim when he tried to hit winger Devante Smith-Pelly (per Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider). He was laid out by Teemu Selanne in his next shift, further exacerbating the injury and he was unable to return.
"I feel good, I’ve had a chance to practice and get a little better contact," Regehr said. "It’s a matter of what kind of lineup that Darryl wants to go with probably, and I think it will probably be the same one that we had the last game. The guys played well and won a good Game 7 in Chicago."
Matt Greene (three points, plus-1, 12 PIM) is the most likely the odd-man out when Regehr returns.
Don’t bet on it
Continuing the dialogue from media day, Sutter was asked if he still felt that his team was the underdog. It might be getting old and he’s not particularly concerned with who the Vegas odds favor. He does enjoy horse racing and earlier in the playoffs gave the media some early Kentucky Derby betting advice, but when it comes to hockey he’s not allowed to take his own advice.