The Stanley Cup Playoffs are great for helping unknowns break out on a big stage. They’re even better for helping bigger names finally get some credit to their names.
Not that Quick isn’t already one of the game’s bigger names. If you’re a fan of a team in the Western Conference, Quick has been giving your team fits all season. But for the folks that haven’t had as much of an opportunity watch Quick, it’s now known how great this guy actually is.
For a team that was expected to be among the top contenders in the Western Conference this season, the Kings were anything but elite. They underachieved all season and it took a strong effort down the stretch for them to manage to creep into the playoffs and grab the no. 8 seed.
But even as they struggled for a good chunk of the year, the one constant for the Kings was between the pipes, with Jonathan Quick.
Quick took that next step that many thought he was ready to take last season. Unlike the 2010-11 season where he started out strong, but kind of wavered at times, Quick was stellar all season long, and it earned him a nod as a Vezina Trophy finalist.
No goaltender matched Quick’s absurd 10 shutouts on the season and his 1.95 goals-against average came in second only to Brian Elliot, who started about just half as many games as Quick did. Helping the Kings to become the second best defensive team in the league, Quick showed that wins can be just as overrated a stat as they are in Major League Baseball, with only 35 on the year, despite those impressive numbers.
The play hasn’t changed at all in a postseason in which the Kings have dropped just one game. They knocked off the Presidents Trophy winning Vancouver Canucks in five games, before sweeping the no. 2 seed out west, the St. Louis Blues.
While the big name guys have stepped up since the regular season ended, Quick has continued to be right in the middle of everything. Already with eight wins, Quick has a better GAA than any other goaltender and has allowed just 14 goals in nine games.
Up against a guy like Henrik Lundqvist, who has more star power in the bigger market than Quick, he might not take home the Vezina, but Quick and the Kings have their sights set on bigger things. And through two rounds of hockey, they are looking like a serious threat to capture their first Stanley Cup with Quick right in the middle of it all.