There’s no secret that the 2013-14 season wasn’t the greatest followup to a championship year for Jonathan Quick. The Los Angeles Kings goaltender struggled throughout the year, and was ultimately one of the reasons they were eliminated in the Western Conference Finals (though far from the only reason).
After a brilliant 2011-2012 campaign that saw Quick take home the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP, and probably should have also included a Vezina Trophy win, Quick took a step back in 2013. At times, you could have even made the argument that Jonathan Bernier should have stolen some of his starts, as he outplayed Quick for most of the year.
There are a variety of things you could look to as a source of Quick’s struggles. The main one there is the fact that Quick underwent back surgery in the summer of 2012. It was a “minor” procedure, but at the same time, the lockout didn’t afford him an opportunity to really shake the rust off.
The fact that Quick returned to form in the postseason should bode well for him moving forward. He’s going to give up some bad goals from time to time. It’s the nature of his aggressive game. But after a save percentage that barely held up over .900 and a 2.45 goals against average during the regular season, he was Jonathan Quick again in the playoffs.
He helped the Kings advance as far as they did, playing to a very strong 1.86 GAA and a .934 save percentage, including three shutouts. There were some bad goals mixed in there, particularly in the Western Conference Finals, but he was himself again overall.
Which should mean that a rebound is on the horizon for Quick. Heading into the 2013-14 season completely healthy, and now with something to prove, he should go on to continue to make his case as one of the best goaltenders in the world, especially with a Team USA starting gig potentially on the line.