Not So Quick...
Anyone who watched the Kings Stanley Cup run last season would have been shocked after watching last night's 2-1 overtime loss to the St. Louis Blues. The Kings, save for Jonathan Quick, were nonexistent through 59 minutes. Quick made 35 saves through regulation as he held the Blues to a 1-0 lead, the one goal coming in the first period by Alexander Steen on a power play thanks to the Kings too-many-man-on-the-ice penalty.
The Kings had no sustained forecheck as evidenced by having only one shot on goal in the first 15 minutes of the third period. The Blues outshot the Kings 34-14 until Voynov finally got a shot through to Blues goaltender Brian Elliott at the 15:44 mark.
Then almost like a miracle Drew Doughty made the pass over the blue line to Justin Williams who took a shot no one expected with 31.6 seconds left. Elliott looked perplexed as the puck went seven-hole short side and landed behind him. The crowd who were on their feet cheering were suddenly silenced. Bob Miller and Jim Fox got more excited on the Prime Ticket broadcast.
"We had a chance to steal one," Dustin Penner told reporters after practice today.
They did. Of course most of the world is coming down hard on Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick after misplaying the puck behind the net which allowed Steen to score the winning tally with 6:34 left in the first overtime. But most of the team knows better.
"We didn't lose the game on one play last night," Penner emphasized. "There were a bunch of plays."
Lest anyone forgets the performance that Quick put on, here are some video reminders of why the Kings were able to send the game to a fourth period.
"He was outstanding," Sutter said after the game last night. He noted that Quick's turnover was more of a function of him trying to make the play, instead Steen made the better play. "Ironic the two best players in the game were in on the goal."
Over the last 24 hours there has been a lot of tomfoolery and gobbledygook being spewed forth about Quick's performance. Aside from the one play, Quick was extraordinary in the game. So let's put an end to the overt ignorance that seems to be encouraged by ESPN and their urge to promote debate.
The Kings find themselves in an unfamiliar position: trailing in a playoff series. "We've got to forget about the game, learn from it and move on," Jake Muzzin said. "This team knows how to do it and what it takes."
Quick ended the game having to make 40 saves while Elliott had a more stress-free night with 28 saves. One thing is clear. If the Kings hope to attempting to recapture last season's magic, they're going to have to do a much better job than they did last night.