Jonathan Quick, Goaltender
On Saturday night, Jonathan Quick had possibly the worst game of his career. The Kings dominated the Minnesota Wild from horn to horn, ousthooting them 26-21, but 2 monumental gaffes by Quick (and a terrible penalty by Drew Doughty in overtime) cost the Kings the victory point. Quick was subject to boos and Bronx cheers from the LA crowd. It was a rough night and Quick didn't sugar coat it in the postgame interview:
QUICK: "I take responsibility for the loss. It’s extremely unfortunate. I think we outplayed them for the majority of that game and I think, as a team, we deserved the two points. I’ve just got to be better. I can’t make those mistakes. Those can’t happen. When you spot a team two goals, it’s tough to get two points out of it. We’ll just regroup and we’ll head to Detroit and we’ll look forward to trying to get the two points there."
The merits of booing a goaltender who has vastly improved his game aside, Quick didn't play well. It was his first really bad game of the season. How would he respond?
A) Eat a sandwich
B) Do the splits
C) Pitch a 51-save shutout
If you answered C, you are correct. If you answered B, you are also correct. If you answered A... I mean, he probably did, right? Sandwiches are delicious. Probably ham. Anyway, yeah, Quick had a 51-save shutout. That is, in a word, amazing. The Detroit Red Wings, the team that tried tirelessly to solve Quick, threw shot after shot, tried to slam home rebound after rebound, and could put nothing by Quick.
His biggest moment came in the 2nd period, when Quick saved a point-blank shot that rebounded into the slot. Detroit player Darren Helm swooped onto the puck and had about half the net wide open. He shot and Quick lunged back into the path of the puck. The puck bounced off Quick and this time the Kings collected the rebound. They took the puck down the ice and scored to make it 2-0 30 seconds later. Goal and game.
Goaltending is a hard position. If you make the save 9/10 times, you suck. Quick was the Kings' #1 goaltender last season and won 39 games, but his rate numbers were lackluster. He's had a younger, more heralded goaltender in Jonathan Bernier breathing down his neck all summer and everyone is waiting for a misstep, an excuse by Quick to play Bernier. Quick will make missteps, whether in the playoffs last season or against Minnesota on Saturday. The one thing you can count on, though, is that he'll bounce back.
Bobby Ryan, Goal Scorer
Ryan gets special mention just for this:
In case you're confused:
1) Minnesota Wild center Mikko Koivu drops his stick
2) Koivu steals Bobby Ryan's stick (this is a penalty, in case you were curious)
3) Ryan, now stickless, throws his hand up in frustration on the non-call
4) Ryan picks up the free stick on the ground while the play goes away from him
5) Ryan probably realizes at this point that he's right-handed and the stick he is holding is left-handed
6) A shot comes on net and the rebound bounces right to Ryan, who manages to shoot it in with the wrong-handed stick
7) Ryan then holds up the stick, most likely to Koivu but he claims to Perry, showing that he is unstoppable no matter what the stick curve
I love hockey.
Rene Bourque, Dunce
Against the Kings, Rene Bourque was on the ice with less than a minute remaining, the Kings up by 1. The Flames were scrambling for the puck in front of the net and in the morass of bodies Drew Doughty knocked Bourque down. While the puck was cycled up to the point, Bourque responded by spearing Doughty in... well, the spot you never want to hear combined with "spear." This week's hero, Jonathan Quick, was the only person who caught the spear and attacked Bourque. Bourque was given a penalty, the puck was moved down to Calgary's zone, and any chance the Flames had at tying the game disappeared.
Against the Ducks, Bourque was on the ice in overtime, trying to win the game for his team. Instead of winning the game for his team, Bourque decided to slash Corey Perry. The Ducks had the a 2-minute penalty in overtime and, while unable to score, the Ducks had all the momentum and all the opportunity to end the tie.
Oh, and then he missed his shootout opportunity and the Ducks won.
Rene Bourque, you are an ass.
Saturday: Anaheim @ Carolina, 4 PM; Los Angeles @ Nashville, 5 PM
Sunday: Los Angeles @ Chicago, 4 PM
Monday: Anaheim @ Boston, 4:30 PM
Tuesday: Anaheim @ Buffalo, 4 PM; Los Angeles @ Colorado, 6:30 PM