LA Kings: Older Jonathan Quick continues on-ice success

LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) /

I recently covered Cal Petersen and how his increased confidence on the ice has made him a legitimate competitor for the number one spot in goal for the LA Kings. Of course, while Petersen is coming along nicely, we cannot dismiss the impact that the Kings’ current number one goaltender continues to have on his team.

Having just turned 35 last week, it is safe to argue that Jonathan Quick is at the tail-end of his career. For the native of Milford, CT, though, his competitive fire is just as prevalent as it was a decade ago just as his skill level.

While his 3.15 goals-against average and .898 save percentage may not jump off the page, Quick’s 2020-21 campaign has, so far, shown the Kings’ fanbase — as well as the rest of the league — that he’s more than capable of resuming his starting job duties. After all, his timely, clutch saves are just one reason why the veteran netminder has yet to lose a game in regulation thus far.

Following his team’s practice on Wednesday, Quick spoke with the media about his play so far as well as his team’s overall performance.

LA Kings goalie Jonathan Quick says year two under Todd McLellan has been a lot smoother.

“I just think that having the majority of this group together last year, building relationships on the ice, off the ice, it’s just a little more cohesive,” Quick noted. “Having Todd [McLellan] here, knowing what he expects of us, systems play, things like that. It’s just a little smoother despite the 10-month layoff where we missed time and a short training camp.”

While there certainly have been a lot of changes with the Kings over the past few seasons from coaching changes to roster moves, Jonathan Quick has capitalized on his own success thanks to one constant for the Kings: longtime goaltending coach Bill Ranford.

Quick was asked how having Ranford by his side after all these years has helped him be as competitive as he’s ever been.

“Yeah, I think that’s important,” the netminder said. “It’s huge for my development coming up and obviously still leaned on him a lot for what he sees in games and talking it out, talking about teams, what to expect. A lot of times, I know what he’s going to say, but it’s always good to hear him reinforce things that I see and what I’m reading out there and saying, just like us trying to get better in practice, he’s always trying to find new ways to push us and push himself. So, to see and work with him for the past 14 years or whatever it’s been, it’s been extremely helpful.”

As is the cycle of any goaltender, they must get used to new bodies defending in front of them. For Jonathan Quick and the Kings, the changeover on defense has been fairly high in recent years. However, some of the newer defenders such as Mikey Anderson and Kale Clague appear to be long-term mainstays, even if they need some more time in the AHL.

“We have a great relationship as far as what to expect out of each other on the ice and the communication on the ice with helping each other out,” the 35-year-old noted. “That’s something that we had last year and it kind of carried over into this year.

“It’s something that — no matter how good you’re doing, there’s always room for improvement. So, we’re constantly trying to find those ways to get better.”

He may be a bit older but Jonathan Quick is no less invaluable than he was just a few seasons ago.

Quick and the Kings are riding a two-game winning streak as of Thursday morning and if they hope to extend said streak, he and Petersen both have to bring their respective A-games. However, if the season thus far has been any indication, that will not be a source of conflict.

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If anyone thinks that Quick should be worrying about losing his starting job, though, it would be wise to rethink that. As long as Jonathan Quick is donning the silver-and-black, he is the main man in goal for the Kings. So, let us enjoy this and see what No. 32 has in store for us next game and for the remainder of the season.

LA Kings Schedule

The Kings will wrap up their two-game set with the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night. Per the team’s PR department, he was the first goalie off the ice in morning skate, indicating he’ll get the nod in net this evening.