The Los Angeles Kings are doing everything in their power to show that the Stanley Cup hangover is real. Through their first seven games, they are 2-3-2, and their goaltending situation doesn’t appear to be nearly as solid as it was last year. On their way to the Stanley Cup Finals last season, Jonathan Quick showcased an ability to make big saves and help the team win close games. This season, a lack of offense and a shaky start in net saw the team drop its first three and last two games.
Quick lasted just over five minutes in Saturday’s loss to the Anaheim Ducks, giving up two goals on three shots. Jonathan Bernier didn’t fare any better, surrendering four goals on 21 shots. It was the seventh straight start of the season for Quick, and the strain of a compacted schedule and travel might finally be taking its toll.
The 2011-12 season saw Quick win 35 games and record 10 shutouts. He went 16-4 through the playoffs and won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Kings brought the Cup home for the first time in franchise history. The off-season saw him sign a 10-year contract extension and have back surgery. The King will need to keep Quick healthy if they hope to reach the postseason, and having him play almost all of their games might be too much for him after a demanding year. With Bernier’s potential as trade bait, there may be another option out there for a serviceable backup to Quick.