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October 21, 2011 3:30 pm

Quick has the hot hand

Terry Murray laughed deeply when the subject of tomorrow night’s goalie came up. “Go ahead, take a guess,’’ he said. Jonathan Quick, perhaps? Quick is coming off back-to-back shutouts, and the Kings have two days between games after they face Dallas tomorrow, so the answer was obvious. During training camp, Murray said he wouldn’t keep his goalies on a strict schedule and would go with a hot hand. They don’t get much hotter than Quick’s 0.97 goals-against average and 0.967 save percentage in his first five games, including last night’s 28-save shutout against Phoenix.

MURRAY: “I thought his game last night — and talking with Billy [goalie coach Bill Ranford] about it — Billy thought it was his best game of the year. Very sharp, very alert, his movement in the net, his puck-handling was very clean. He’s playing an `A’ game right now, and I want to keep going with it.’’

The other day, Murray was asked about Quick’s development, and pointed to an area of concern over the past couple seasons: Quick’s puck-handling, which occasionally had put him and his defensemen in bad situations…

MURRAY: “The one thing that I see, that he’s just a little sharper on, is the puck being played outside of the net. He’s getting it off his stick right away. Last year, we were kind of caught in between. Part of the issue is that the D don’t talk to the goalie. They’re the guys that are coming back. They’ve got to let the goalie know where they want the puck moved to, or left, and right now with Quicker, the communication is good and he’s getting the puck off his stick right away. He’s not lingering behind the net, and that transitions the puck out pretty good. That’s an improvement on that part of the game.’’

Quick said his improvement had come because of better communication with defensemen, as well as just a natural familiarity on the ice…

QUICK: “It’s a little bit of both. Obviously it’s a small sample to take from, only five games, but I think, as a team, we made a big push toward making sure that got corrected, and we’ve been doing that as efficient as possible. The coaching staff made sure that it was something important to take care of in training camp and that we did a lot of, and everybody has responded.’’

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