Based on the fitness testing the Kings did at the start of the All-Star break, I’m told that the best-conditioned player, all around, was Jonathan Quick (and no, I don’t have the full list, and I don’t know who was last). In a way, that’s not particularly surprising, since a goalie always needs to be in top physical form, but it does speak to the idea that the Kings can lean heavily on Quick over the final final 29 games, and might well do so. As for Quick testing well, Darry Sutter said, “Our goalies are young guys that work hard, so it’s not really a surprise.’’ Two seasons ago, Quick played 72 games, and Terry Murray later publicly second-guessed himself for playing Quick that much. To get to 72 games this season, Quick would have to play in 28 of the last 29 games, which seems highly unlikely. But he might get pretty close, as Sutter indicated today when asked if he had a plan for Quick and Jonathan Bernier.
SUTTER: “It’s the age-old thing about coaches trying to decide when their goalies are going to play. It’s easy to have a plan when you’re 10 points free of a (playoff) spot or 10 points out of a spot. Then you can have a plan. … When you’ve got a clear-cut No. 1 goalie, and he’s fresh and sharp, then he’s going to play. You’d like to be the New York Rangers. They have the best goalie in the league right now, the goalie with the best goals-against and save percentage, but he has played fewer minutes than our guy. That’s the perfect situation.
“If you look at it, the two best goalies in the league are (Henrik) Lundqvist and Quick. Best save percentage, best goals-against. But they’ve been able to use their goaltenders in a different way, just because the team has done better. I don’t get into that stuff. I’ve always been really lucky. Other than my first year in San Jose, when we split Verny [Mike Vernon] and Kelly Hrudey, other than that I’ve always had a No. 1 goalie and a good hockey team. So it’s one thing to get them ready for the playoffs, but it’s another thing to make it.’’