All eyes will be on Quick
Jonathan Quick was the Kings’ MVP in the regular season, and their hopes for beating Vancouver in the first round rest largely on his shoulders as well. As noted yesterday, the Kings’ breakdowns in the past two playoffs have centered around allowing too many goals, as opposed to scoring too few goals. Clearly, the defensemen play a big part in that, but Quick will also have to be strong. The Canucks finished the regular season with the most goals in the Western Conference and with the NHL’s fourth-best power play.
Plus, regardless of whether he is practicing or not, the Kings are planning to see Daniel Sedin. Sedin missed the end of the regular season because of concussion issues, but had 30 goals and 37 assists playing alongside his twin brother, Henrik, who had 14 goals and 67 assists. Quick is well aware of the challenges brought by facing the Sedin brothers.
QUICK: “They’re great around the net, obviously. They’ve been doing it for years now in this league. They have a lot of poise with the puck. They’re very patient. They make great reads. For us, we’ve just got to be patient with them. I think they thrive when they get teams running around, over-committing a little bit. We have to be strong on them, and take time and space away, but at the same time, if we’re running around a little too much, sometimes that’s when they do the most damage. We need patience with them. It’s a fine line between having patience and giving them too much time and space. We’ve got to find that line. Obviously they are key to their power play, and just their offense in general. We’ll see a lot of them over the last couple weeks.’’
Question: Having previous playoff experience, what does that mean for younger players?
QUICK: “You know what to expect, with the level of play and how much every play means, every shot means. What you kind of gain in experience is stuff you can’t really put in words. Because if you could, then you’d be able to give guys experience without playing. When you find yourself in those situations, it’s finding confidence in yourself, that you’ve been there before. It’s something that, the only way you get that feeling is from being in situations like this.’’
Question: You’ve been mentioned as a player who has to play well in order for the Kings to have a chance against Vancouver. Does that change how you approach things at all?
QUICK: “It’s a 60-minute game where the other team is trying to score on you. Obviously the intensity is going to be higher. The pace is going to be a little bit quicker. The fans will be that much more energetic. At the end of the day, though, it’s the same job that I’ve had all year, or the past 15 years. I’ve got to stop the puck. I’ve got to help with breakouts. I’ve got to talk. I’ve got to do everything that I’ve learned over the years. That’s all you’re focused on, going into the game, is what you bring to the table, individually and as a team collectively. We’ve just got to play our game.’’