On Monday night, in a completely ignored story, Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick tied a pretty significant NHL record. With his team’s 5-0 rout of the Vancouver Canucks, Quick is now tied for the most shutouts by an American-born goaltender. His 40th shutout put him on equal footing with John Vanbiesbrouck and Frank Brimsek.
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OK, it’s tying an American record in hockey. That shouldn’t be that big a deal, until you realize how quickly the Kings’ netminder did it. While it seems like Quick has been around forever, he’s only 29 years old, and earned his 40th shutout in just his 436th game. It took Vanbiesbrouck 882, while Brimsek played 514.
Quick is in his eighth full NHL season and already has two Stanley Cups, a Conn Smythe Trophy, a Williams M. Jennings Trophy, was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy in 2012 and has represented the United States in two Olympics. Among goalies who qualify, Quick’s career goals-against average of 2.27 ranks 13th all-time, and his .916 save percentage is 19th. He has a career regular-season record of 231-148-40 and is 45-31 in the postseason. On top of all that, Quick is the absolute master of the spectacular save (see examples here, here, here and here).
Remember, he won’t turn 30 until January and has a long career ahead of him.
While most of the accomplishments above are just numbers and hockey isn’t exactly a sport most Americans get excited about, it’s probably time we start appreciating how great Quick has been. Brimsek, Tom Barrasso, Mike Richter and Ryan Miller are considered by many to be the greatest American-born goaltenders of all time, and Quick’s numbers blow all of them away. He is clearly on pace to be the top American goalie ever, and we should probably start paying more attention to his achievements.