As one of the players on the LA Kings who wears his competitiveness on his sleeve, Jonathan Quick stood in front of the assembled media during exit interviews late last week, and it was possible to feel how strongly he’d prefer to be playing than cleaning out his equipment from the dressing room and answering questions about what went wrong. His conversation, though sprinkled with the familiar Quick-isms that don’t always provide outside questioners the full revelation of what makes one of the greatest and most fiery goaltenders of his generation operate, shed light on his off-season routine, his appreciation of how Drew Doughty plays, and what the Jennings Trophy means to him.
The consummate teammate also provided a pithy response when asked how close the team is to becoming a “legitimate” Stanley Cup contender again.
“I think we were this year. I don’t think it’s about ‘getting back,’ I think we have a really good hockey team,” he replied. “Yeah, we’re right there.”
On where he’d place the team’s success and his individual performance this season:
Well, your goal is to be the last team standing every year and we weren’t able to accomplish that, so obviously we left something on the table. We’re working off-season, continuing to get better, and try to do it next year.
On the atmosphere within the team from the coaching and organizational changes:
I think guys handled it well. You know, obviously there were changes, but Blakey coming in, he was with us there for a few years before this. Johnny got the job as a head coach and same thing, he’s been here for eight years, so I mean, obviously there is a transition, but it’s not a big one because we’re familiar with them.
On what the Jennings Trophy means to him:
As a team, it’s a great accomplishment. You know, I’d say it feels like we’re in the running every year for that. That’s obviously because the way we play, commitment to our own end, the goalies get a lot of help, so it’s a great accomplishment for the team.
On his off-season routine:
Take a couple weeks of and let the body heal and then get back to work. Start working out, slowly transition into skating, and start getting ready for the season again.
On what it’s like having Drew Doughty playing in front of him:
I mean, he’s the best at what he does. I think the way he thinks the game is his biggest strength and the ability to make plays under pressure, you know it helps us get out of the zone. I mean, every time he’s out there, he’s always helping his partner, helping me, helping the forwards, so from my standpoint, his ability to help get pucks out of the zone and get into the offensive zone is something that helps me a lot.
On whether 64 games played is a good number for him:
Everybody wants to play every night. It’s a little bit tougher for a goalie. But yeah, coaching staff decides that and when you want me in the net, I want to help try to win and when it’s the other guys’ turn, it’s just helping your teammates in the locker room.
On taking any positives from lasting five periods with three defensemen missing in Game 2:
Well, we lost, so I mean, every game you play, regular season, post season, there’s also positives and negatives. So, within the season you look at the video and try to build off the things that you did well, and things you didn’t do so well you try to work on. So obviously, just like any other game, watched the video on that one and tried to learn from it and get better for game three.
On whether he’s interested in playing in the World Championship:
Yeah, that’s something I’ll need to figure out.
-Lead photo via Ethan Miller/Getty Images