In his first two games, Jonathan Quick has given the Kings just about everything they could ask for in goal. Quick has stopped 54 of 56 shots — not including two huge saves in Saturday’s shootout — in victories over Vancouver and Atlanta. More importantly, Quick has looked calm and composed. Quick has excellent athletic ability, but tends to over-play because of it at times, but in the first two games this season, he seemed to be playing within himself, with poise and patience.
After last night’s game, Terry Murray talked about the importance of Quick’s summer, and the ability it gave him to reflect on his first full season as a No. 1 NHL goalie and the playoff series. At the risk of getting too philosophical, I asked Quick today what his thought process was like during the summer, what he took from last season and how he tried to incorporate it into his preparation for this season.
QUICK: “There’s a bunch of ways you can look back at it. Obviously the first way you look at it is just overall team success. I think that’s the measuring stick, whether you’re helping the team win. Obviously you’re going to make mistakes. Those happen, but if your team is winning, you’re doing your job and everyone in the locker room is doing their job. Throughout the season, we did that and we did it well. There were parts of the season when that didn’t happen as often.
“Another way to look at it is to look at playing down the stretch and in the playoffs, the most crucial time of the year, and how you played. Obviously I wish I could have played better. I have a bit of disappointment there. I’m sure the team wishes they could have played better too. We made the playoffs for the first time in nine years or 10 years, whatever it was, and that’s great and all, but at the end of the day, I believe everyone in this locker room thought we could have gone further in the playoffs. We could have fared better against Vancouver, and I have to admit that I wish I could have played a lot better in that series. Like you said, it’s in the past and you try to learn from your mistakes, as far as preparation mistakes or just mistakes on the ice. Any little detail that you can look at, you probably could have gone about it a little differently, so you learn from it and you bring that to your game this year and hopefully it works out for the better.”
Murray also had strong praise for Quick’s summer conditioning. While, as Quick points out below, he was never overweight, he looks noticeably trimmer this fall, which was part of his summer-preparation plan…
QUICK: “I think, for sure, that’s a huge part of it. It’s not that I was overweight. I just wasn’t as lean as I wanted to be and as lean as the coaches wanted me to be. I think I came in this season a lot more prepared for the long haul. I’m working to be more fit so that, after games, I can recover a little bit better and the games won’t be as taxing on my body. I’m looking forward to seeing how it goes.”