Quick: “We have a lot of guys that just hate to lose”
Jonathan Quick stopped 195 of 205 shots in last year’s seven-game series against San Jose, and his .951 save percentage against the Sharks was the second highest of the seven playoff series he has been a part of over the last two years. Only the opening round series against Vancouver, in which Quick allowed eight goals on 172 shots, did the Kings’ goalie produce a better save percentage in any of the playoff series over the past two seasons.
He has been especially sharp through the first two rounds. Against Vancouver and St. Louis in 2012, and St. Louis and San Jose in 2013, he has combined to stop 622 of 656 shots for a .948 save percentage. His save percentage overall in the playoffs over the last two seasons is .940.
He’ll need to be excellent again for Los Angeles to emerge victorious in this even first round series. Against the Sharks in 2013, when he allowed only 10 goals in seven games, the Kings advanced by the slimmest of margins in a series in which they had home ice advantage.
It wasn’t only Quick that carried the team to victory in that series; it was a team-wide demeanor collectively held by a group of players of players who have won before, according to the Kings’ goaltender.
“We have a lot of guys that just hate to lose. I think sometimes you have two great teams and one team loves to win and one team hates to lose and I feel like the team that hates to lose will end up winning more times than not. I think we’ve got a lot of those guys in the locker room. It’s something that’s a good quality to have, I think.”
That hatred of losing manifests itself in a positive manner at this time of the season and emanates from the crease outward.
“It’s more of the same with Quickie,” Dustin Brown said. “It’s just the type of confidence he exudes really. It’s the trickle-down effect when you have a goalie who is not arrogant but very confident, it goes a long way in the demeanor of the whole team.”
Jonathan Quick, on whether he buys into the saying that L.A. is “built for the playoffs”:
I don’t know. What’s the difference between trying to win a game in December and April? Obviously, it’s a little more difficult this time of year, but it still takes the same little things that you have to do in order to win games in December. I don’t know.
Quick, on anticipating San Jose trying to “rattle” him with a consistent net presence:
I don’t know if it’s an effort to rattle me. It’s just where you score a lot of goals. You go to the net, you score a lot of goals. I think it’s just guys going to the net and tip pucks, get rebounds, stuff like that. We’ve got a lot of guys on our team who do that really well too.
Quick, on the communication between goalies and referees in the playoffs:
For the most part, you’re working with guys who you’ve worked with throughout the year. They know how you like to play the game as far as – I think something that comes up with me is if I’m out too far or something like that. They’re really good at talking as far as saying there’s a little bit of interference, whether it was incidental or not. If the puck does go wide and we go up the ice, they’ll usually come over and say that would’ve been no goal if it went in. But that happens throughout the regular season. We know how refs ref the game and they know how players play the game. Obviously, we’ve got a lot of guys who’ve been in the league for a little bit. Both our reputation and the ref’s reputation is known.
Quick, on being excited for the playoffs:
It’s something you look forward to even in August or July. You’re working out looking forward to this time of year. It’s an exciting time.