As has been the case of late, any conversation about a recent game is going to center around Jonathan Quick. Why is that? Because he’s playing out of his head hockey right now. For those of you who missed it, Jonathan Quick set a new Kings record in the game last night, becoming the first Kings goaltender to have three consecutive shutouts, as well as the longest consecutive shutout streak. The previous record was held by none other than the great Rogie Vachon. So yea, even though the Kings defeated the Dallas Stars in an important division game, and Jack Johnson scored an impressive third game winning goal, the conversation today is focused primarily around Jonathan Quick and his incredible run.
Just to recap, the Kings defeated the Dallas Stars 1-0 on Saturday night in Los Angeles. The only goal provided by Jack Johnson, assisted by Rob Scuderi and Mike Richards. It was an impressive defensive performance from both sides, and with the exception of a few breakdowns that lead to a flurry or two from the Stars, there was a distinct lack of sustained pressure from either offense. The defense seemed to do a good job clearing out the front of the net, and making sure that rebounds were easily corralled and handled correctly.
With that kind of defensive play, it seemed from the start that the first goal might well be the only goal, since even the Stars Andrew Raycroft put in a solid performance in their end. After two scoreless periods, where the play seemed to go back and forth fairly frequently, Johnson netted his third game winning goal of the season with a blast from the high point. It was a tough goal to see, and Raycroft clearly missed the knuckle-ball shot that Johnson put on net. I’ve said it before, and I’m sure I’m the first and only person to say something like this, but whent he offense isn’t coming, sometimes the best technique is to just get the puck on net and see what happens. That’s clearly what Johnson did with this one, and it had a great result.
The next big game is against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday, and with any luck Drew Doughty will be ready to go and come off the IR. Unfortunately for Voynov, that means that the Kings may need to ship him back to Manchester. While he has definitely demonstrated himself as more than capable of playing an NHL level game, he is the only defenseman that is exempt from waivers, and the Kings may not want to risk losing one of their valuable assets, like Drewiske to another team for nothing. Personally, I think they’re going to bite the bullet and send Voynov back down with the understanding that he’s a likely call up if another one of the Kings offensive defensemen get hurt at some point this season.
I suppose the real question for all of you is, how do YOU think the Kings should deal with Doughty coming off IR. Keep Voynov and have him sit? Play him, and sit who? Send him to Manchester? If you’re keeping him in LA, who can you send to Manchester instead?