Jonathan Quick will start in goal for the Kings tonight. Terry Murray indicated that there will be at least one other lineup change, but said he hadn’t yet talked to the players involved and that he would have everyone out in the pregame warmups. So we’ll have to wait for game time on that one.
Just meetings for the players this morning, not a morning skate, after the post-midnight arrival in Tampa. One meeting was more significant than others. After the main meetings, assistant GM Ron Hextall pulled Quick into a side room and talked for about 10 minutes. Hextall, who played 608 NHL games in goal, knows something about the position, and I asked him about his meeting with Quick, who was pulled in the second period last night.
HEXTALL: “I don’t like to get into what was said, but it was just a little bit of a `Where you’re at,’ what’s going on and just some of the things that I’ve seen in his game. It was as simple as that.”
Question: And in your estimation, where is his game right now?
HEXTALL: “He’s not on top of it right now. He’s doing things that are uncharacteristic of him, and he’s got to get back to basics and really get his focus back. There were a couple icing calls last night that obviously we weren’t happy about, because they were negated. In saying that, there are times through the year, as a goalie, as a defenseman and as a forward, when you’re going to go through rough times. Now, it’s obviously a hell of a lot more visible when you’re a goaltender than any other position. But he needs to get refocused.”
Question: From your experience, is it better to try to play through that, or to take a step back and watch from the bench?
HEXTALL: “The Carolina game was a step back. So he had his step back, and I thought that was a good move by Murph (Murray). Obviously last night didn’t go well. Quicker is the type of guy who has always played through it. Personally, I feel like that’s the best remedy, but you’ve got to get through it too. So he’s got another shot tonight, and he’s got to get back to the type of hockey that he’s capable of.”
Next, I’ll have Murray’s thoughts about Quick. It seems as though the Kings are committed to letting Quick play through his issues.