Just when it seemed that the Los Angeles Kings had completely shaken the Stanley Cup hangover, they have now hit what is hopefully just a hiccup in an otherwise impressive season. The Kings have been shut out in back-to-back games, wasting two great starts from goaltender Jonathan Quick. In those two games, Quick has only allowed only three goals, but has taken two losses as an offense that was cruising has suddenly forget how to find the back of the net.
While the play of backup Jonathan Bernier has helped the Kings stay in the top half of the Western Conference standings for the past month, Quick is now showing he is back in top form and ready to once again lead the team. While Bernier’s performance this season has been extraordinary, with Quick signed for the next 10 seasons he will likely be traded soon or head elsewhere in the offseason. The Kings have put their faith in Quick for the future (and deservedly so) and now that he is once again showcasing the skills that helped lead the Kings through an improbable playoff run last season, the least his teammates can do is give him some offensive support.
After a rough start to the season, Quick has pulled his season record to 10-10-2, while getting his goals-against average closer to last season’s mark. An offense that recently rattled off three straight wins behind the offensive talents of Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar and Mike Richards has been quiet in the past two games, a trend that needs to change immediately if the Kings would like to enter the 2013 playoffs as more than an eight seed. One of the biggest concerns this season is that Kopitar still does not have a power play goal to his credit. While the team’s role players like Kyle Clifford and Trevor Lewis have stepped up and defenseman Slava Voynov and Jake Muzzin have done a great job contributing offensively, the “big four” on this team struggle to be consistent. With the way Quick has been playing, that is a very disappointing turn of events for this very talented team.