A reminder that Jonathan Quick is still a beast – Press Enterprise

And to think that those of us who were paying attention suspected a year ago that Jonathan Quick might be a member of the Seattle Kraken this season, instead of remaining a King and potentially being a playoff hero.

At the height of his career, Quick was the top money keeper in the NHL, and perhaps the world. His imprint was on the Kings’ entire run as one of the elite teams in the league, and in the two places where the Kings’ names are engraved on the Stanley Cup, his name should have been engraved on the Stanley Cup. bold font.

On Saturday night in Edmonton, in his first Game 7 since 2014, Quick turned back the clock. Against a determined and energized group of Oilers, the Kings played on the ropes for most of the night, unable to generate sustained pressure on the offensive end. Quick kept the Kings in the game: he made sprawling stops, stifling rebounds, blocking wraparound attempts and watching Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and friends as a packed house at Rogers Place howled and screamed.

Vintage Quick wasn’t enough because McDavid, the four-time scoring champion. A two-time Hart Trophy Most Valuable Player winner and a finalist for the honor again this year, he earned “MVP” chants from his hometown fans on Saturday night. He set up Cody Ceci for a second-period goal from inside the right spot of the faceoff, then scored the decisive goal with just under four minutes to go in a third effort, hitting a rebound after Quick (a) put it away. stopped on a run and (b) denied it on a subsequent recovery attempt.

Thus ended the Kings’ unexpectedly positive season, a 2-0 loss in which they had all sorts of trouble keeping possession in the offensive end, let alone applying any sort of sustained pressure on Mike Smith.

And of course, even though the Kings shocked most of the hockey world by extending this series to a Game 7, it wasn’t a runaway success for Quick from start to finish. He allowed all six of the Oilers’ goals in Game 2 and was retired by Cal Petersen after allowing the first four in the 8-2 debacle that was Game 3.

The series began to turn around with a 4–0 Kings win in Game 4 at home, Quick’s 10th career playoff shutout. That game, and then Saturday night’s performance, rekindled a lot of memories.

“I don’t even know what to say,” his trainer, Todd McLellan, told reporters in Edmonton on Saturday night. “I’ve seen it from four different benches in the National Hockey League, and now I can see it from ours. Outstanding effort on your part.

“Let’s face it, especially in the second half, we were under siege. I liked our first period. In the second they overtook us in every turn and we were receiving for almost 20 minutes straight. And Quickie played exceptional. He gave us the opportunity to take out the goalkeeper at the end. You know, I don’t know what more we can ask of him.

Quick did not appear in the Rogers Place interview room. That meant he wasn’t available for comment, given locker rooms remain closed throughout the NHL while COVID-19 precautions remain in place. But veterans of the Kings’ beat will tell you that even if the room were open, and Quick was surrounded by notepads, cameras and microphones, he’d be as stingy with jokes and dates as he is with opportunities to play. goal. That’s just him.

What he may have been saying, without words, is that there is still something left for him at 36 years old.

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