Jonathan Quick has been so good this season that when he has a couple below-average games — not even necessarily games that fall into the “bad’’ category — eyebrows get raised. It happened before and during the recent road trip, when Quick allowed a couple uncharacteristic goals against Anaheim and Nashville, and when Quick allowed four goals against Nashville and Detroit. How did Quick respond? Pretty well. He was excellent in a 35-save victory over Chicago, then allowed two goals in Tuesday’s victory over Detroit. I asked Darryl Sutter today about Quick getting back on track.
SUTTER: “I think that we tried to break two or three habits that he got into. He probably doesn’t even notice it (at the time). We could have done a better job with that. It’s really like having a pitching coach. You’ve got a job to do with two guys, and make sure you’re right on top of it. It’s something that I should have seen earlier. We’ve seen it coming into his game. There’s so much that’s fundamental with a goaltender, things that they do. Not when they’re stopping the puck, or getting set for pucks and reacting, knowing the read of the play. It’s just little things, with their edges and their stick. They don’t even notice it themselves. If you can just get them on top of it again, it helps them focus on just stopping the puck.’’
Question: Is that harder to do during the season? You mentioned pitchers, but they have four days between starts to get on track. Goalies are out there every other day.
SUTTER: “I really don’t put a lot into that, unless the guy is banged up or you think he’s tired. That’s not the case. We’ve given these guys ample opportunity to recover a lot. I think, with the access to everything that you have, in terms of video, it’s not so much on-ice. You can look at it and (say), `If you move that a wee little bit, it’s better.’ You never used to be able to do that, because (the camera) wasn’t on you, it was on the ice. Little things like that. The thing with these two kids is, they’re two totally different types of players, in the way they handle pucks and the way they set up for shots, the way they go side to side. They’re totally different. Your specialists have to be right on top of it. The thing with both of them, because they are kids, they are very respectful of change and/or getting better. (The feedback) never in a negative, critical way. It’s just in a `Yeah, that’s right,’ way. A lot of times, you get the older goalies who don’t want to change anymore.’’
Incidentally, Sutter declined to entertain any discussion of whether he might start Jonathan Bernier on Saturday against Nashville.