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Kings Gameday: Let's Talk About This Real Fast

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Los Angeles Kings
@ Columbus Blue Jackets

Thursday, Jan 28, 2010, 4:00 PM PST
Nationwide Arena

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So I'm just trying clarify on this whole "Jonathan Quick is our unquestioned #1 starter" thing; we're just going to ignore the fact that he's not that good? I mean, that's fine, I'm used to mediocre goaltending, I just wanted to make sure everyone knew it was a problem.


GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2009 - Jonathan Quick 47 2819 28 16 122 2.60 1288 1166 .905 1

Quick has started 47 of the Kings' 52 games this season and tonight he'll make it 48 of 53. His traditional numbers are uninspiring: he's 21st in the league in goals against average, 27th in save percentage, and tied for 24th in shutouts. He is tied for 4th in wins, but I like to think that in this day and age I don't have to explain why that's a meaningless measure of a goaltender's worth.

I asked Hawerchuk from the fantastic Behind the Net blog the best way to evaluate a goaltender and he said to look at even-strength save percentage. He thought 4 year's worth was best, but since Quick has only been in the league a year and a half (and also because I'm lazy) I just looked at this year's so far. Quick has a .917 SV% at even stength, which is good for 18th among goalies who have played more than 10 games this season. That doesn't seem that bad, so I was curious to see what was dragging Quick down. It looks like what is dragging Quick down is his penalty kill save percentage, which is only .846, good for 38th in the league. That's not good.

So now the question I have is if penalty kill save percentage is more a factor of luck or if there's something in Quick's playing style that makes him more susceptible to power play goals. I mean, I can see it. The Kings should have a good penalty kill, but they don't (24th overall). Maybe it's Quick's fault. There is a lot of movement on a power play and Quick's biggest problem is staying square to the shooter, so I can see how there might be some flaw in his game. But, on the other hand, maybe the Kings are just getting lucky on the penalty kill. Who knows? I hope they're just unlucky because otherwise that spells trouble for Quick's future.

And I want Quick to do well because I like him. He's only 23 so it's unfair to expect so much from him, but I think the Kings have reached the point where age is no longer a factor. Players can either do their job or they can't. I'm not saying Quick is bad by any means; there is value in having an average goaltender that can play 70 games in a season. And it's not like there's anything the Kings can do about it; they're not going to trade for another goaltender that's any good and they're not going to bring up Bernier when he's leading the Monarchs to the top of their conference. The Kings are still a good defensive team because they back-check well and the defense does a good job of not allowing shots, not because Quick is doing anything special in net. We're going to have Quick for the rest of the year and he's going to give us a league average job in net; I just wish he'd do more.

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Matt Greene talked about music with Puck Daddy today and expressed his love for blog favorite Hall 'n Oates (we like Oates) and some other band. Give a listen to the one hockey player in the entire NHL that isn't mind-numbingly boring.

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The last time the Kings played the Columbus Blue Jackets Rob Scuderi did this:

It's funny to think that Scuderi's hit didn't get a penalty for that hit while the Ian White hit on Wayne Simmonds in the Toronto game was apparently worth 2 minutes. Anyway, I wouldn't be surprised if Jason Chimera or someone else on the Jackets tried to exact a little justice tonight.

(That game against the Jackets also had my favorite moment of the season so far: after the Kings embarrassed the Jackets to the tune of 6-2, Jason Chimera boarded Alex Frolov and then turned around for the expected fight; instead, the Kings just skated around while Bailey put up his dukes behind the glass. It was surreal.)

UPDATE: I guess Jason Chimera got traded to the Capitals for some reason so I guess Columbus won't really care about Scuderi. Unless they decide to punch him because he has a big nose or something.

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Mike already linked to it but I'm going to link to it again: this picture is amazing.

Predicition: Kings win, 5-3. Everyone showers Quick with praise for making 20 stops.