Can’t go away from Quick now
Jonathan Quick will make his eighth consecutive start on Thursday when the Kings play St. Louis. Previous to that, Quick had not played in more than three consecutive games this season. Of course, Terry Murray already acknowledged that he has erased his preseason goalie plan, the one that limited Quick to 57 games and had backup Jonathan Bernier playing once a week. Bernier is almost certain to see some action during this tough road trip, but asked whether he would start Quick on Thursday, Murray said with a laugh, “It’s pretty tough to not go back to him after that performance last night.”
Of course, that’s a reference to Quick’s 51-save shutout, which, at the risk of sounding hyperbolic, was truly a remarkable performance. Today, I asked Murray if he had any further thoughts on Quick’s effort after reviewing the game video…
MURRAY: “He was totally focused on the game. He just was so composed and read the play. They play east-west hockey, and you’ve got to be right on top of things to make it happen on some of those saves. He was outstanding. The play, the save when Jack Johnson had the big hit on Helm, and then Helm came in and found his own rebound on that play, that was a spectacular save. It’s a position that you have to have a `A’ game from, going into that build. Especially in the second period. They are unbelievable at recognizing the line-change situation, to take advantage of it with their experience in that building. How they can just continue to get pressure on top of you in that situation…
“You go back over the years, and their second periods are phenomenal for them. That’s where they break games open. Just 5-on-5, and then on top of that we had the two, back-to-back penalty kills. They put a lot of pressure. They recover the pucks and the play goes on for almost the full two minutes, non-stop, and so you’ve got to be really sharp on your changes. They can feed off of it and generate a lot, coming back at you. So Quick was obviously the man for the job last night.”
Bernier has not been in a game since the Nov. 24 loss to Montreal, so whenever he gets in, it will be after at least a three-week layoff. I asked Murray if Quick’s play last night had altered his plan for Bernier for the road trip.
MURRAY: “I’ve been looking at getting Bernier in here, in the last few actually. I played around with it against Minnesota at home, trying to get things set up for this road trip, which is a pretty demanding trip. They’re all going to be intense hockey games. But it’s Quick (against St. Louis).”