It seems a little early to be bestowing honors like that on a goalie who hasn’t yet reached his 30th birthday, but with a win on Thursday night he will join legendary goalie Rogie Vachon for the most career wins in a Kings uniform.
Not that the list of goalies that have manned the crease for the Kings is overly distinguished, but for Quick to have advanced so quickly, in really what amounts to about 5 full seasons, is really remarkable.
After Quick and Vachon, the only real big name goalies to have played significant time for LA have been Kelly Hrudey and Felix Potvin. Hall of Fame names like Terry Sawchuk and Grant Fuhr have donned purple and gold, but neither in their prime or for any length of time.
Quick, assuming he reaches the milestone against Toronto on Thursday night, will do so in 65 fewer games, or pretty much a full season worth of games faster. The team in front of him is obviously very good and makes a difference, but Quick’s abilities also makes the team in front of him look good, and they aren’t exactly setting offensive records. The Kings rely heavily on Quick and their ability to keep the puck out of the net to win on most nights.
It is nearly impossible to compare eras, and the game from the early 1970’s is not the same game that is played here in the 2000’s. Vachon was named to the 2nd team All-Stars twice, and was a runner up and 3rd place in Hart Trophy voting in his time in LA.
Quick was a 2nd team All-Star, Conn Smythe Trophy winner and 2nd in Vezina voting in 2012, and this year he is playing at a level that could earn him more honors and maybe even some hardware.
Quick will no doubt set the Kings franchise record during the upcoming homestand, and as of now he is only 3 behind Vachon for the career shutout mark as well, which he could set this season, and if not certainly will next year.
Vachon’s #30 banner is already hanging from the rafters of the Staples Centre, and even at age 28, Quick’s #32 might already have a space reserved.