The words are practically tied together. When coach Terry Murray says the name Jonathan Quick, it’s almost always followed, in the next breath, by the words “No. 1 goalie.” Murray wants to establish, early and often, that Quick is the Kings’ clear-cut goalie, and eliminate any suggestion of a competition between Quick, Jonathan Bernier and Erik Ersberg.
How long will that last? It’s hard to say. Quick set franchise records for wins and games last season, but Bernier was the top goalie in the AHL last season, and there’s a lot of eagerness to see what he can do at the NHL level. Quick has put himself in a good position, showing up to camp in what one team executive called the best shape of Quick’s career. And a reduced workload should also help. Quick never complained when his game total soared to 72, even when he clearly appeared to wear down late in the season.
Today, Murray talked about his plans for the goalies this season, and Quick talked about his preparation and the upcoming season…
MURRAY: “In net, it’s going to be an interesting battle. Quick is our No. 1 guy, and we’ve got Bernier and Ersberg who are going to compete very hard for the No. 2 position. Clearly the organization is not going to carry three goaltenders, so as we get through the scrimmages and into the games, they will be watched very closely by everybody in the organization.
“There’s no gray area there. Jonathan Quick is our No. 1 goaltender. He’s going to play a lot of hockey this year. I just felt, as I mentioned at the end of the season last year, that maybe he got extended a little bit last year, playing 70-plus games. If I can get his numbers to a max of 60, say, or in the high 50s, and have our No. 2 goaltender getting into the rotation on a pretty regular basis. It’s very hard to play after a couple weeks of not playing. If I can get one game a week out of the second goaltender, I think it would be a nice rhythm to get ourselves into.”
Question: Terry has talked about reducing your workload this season. Is that something you would look forward to?
QUICK: “I’ve always kind of had the same outlook on this. Optimally, I would want to play every night and I want to be able to play every night. I think any goalie in this league, when they’re on the bench, they do what they can for the team, to support them, but I think everyone wants to be on the ice every night. So this summer, I trained as if I was going to play 72 again. If I don’t, I don’t, but right now I don’t think there’s a point in looking at the overall picture. I think, right now, we’re focusing on camp and getting everyone prepared for Game 1 in Vancouver.”
Question: You had a long season, with the 72 games, the playoffs, the Olympics… How much did you rest this summer?
QUICK: “A couple weeks. I think it was probably about two and a half weeks before I started doing leg workouts and getting a sweat going. Probably around three or four weeks, I was back in the weight room hitting it hard.”
Question: Someone said you’re showing up in the best shape of your career. Did you do anything different this summer?
QUICK: “As far as training, it was nothing too different. Maybe the workouts were a little bit longer, getting in a little more exercise per day. I think the biggest thing was my diet. I had a pretty strict diet over the summer, and it paid off a lot in the long run.”
Question: Every chance he gets, Terry calls you his No. 1 goalie. Does that do anything in particular for your confidence?
QUICK: “It does mean a bit, but at the end of the day, if I’m not playing up to my capabilities, you can’t blame them for putting someone else in there. At the end of the day, it doesn’t make a difference. I still have to play and I still have to be able to win games to keep that spot.”
Question: Did you end up putting on weight this summer?
QUICK: “I lost a lot of body fat and put on a little bit of muscle. Overall my weight is down.”
Question: Coming into camp as the clear No. 1 goalie, does it change your mindset at all?
QUICK: “I don’t think the mindset has changed. Even though Terry Murray has said I’m the No. 1, I still feel like I need to earn it every day. There are guys there who are competing for playing time, and they’re not taking a day off, so you just go out every day and work your butt off and put your best foot forward every day.”