It has been an unfortunate start to the season for the Los Angeles Kings.
As of November 2, the team is last in the entire league with a 3-8-1 record. They’ve struggled in all areas of the ice and should this keep up, they will miss the playoffs for the second time in the last three seasons. While things are obviously already bad for this hockey club, things got a lot worse on November 1. That day, the team found out that their star goaltender, Jonathan Quick, is going to be out of the lineup for 3-6 weeks due to knee surgery.
Obviously, this is awful timing for both Quick and the Kings as they are looking to get out of their funk. The team is currently 25nd in the league in goals against and with Quick expected to be out of the lineup, that could end up getting a lot worse before it gets better.
This clearly has not been a good year for Quick. On Sunday, October 28, Quick missed his club’s 4-3 victory over the New York Rangers due to a lower-body injury. Prior to that, he missed five games because he suffered a lower-body injury in practice back on October 6. Not only has Quick missed a lot of games, but when he has played, he has been awful. This is a goaltender who has won many games in this league, two Stanley Cups, and a Conn Smythe Trophy (2012) as the league’s most valuable player in the postseason, but to start to the season, he has not been anywhere near that form in between the pipes.
In four games this season, Quick, 32, is 0-3-1 with a 4.55 goals against average and a .845 save percentage. Those are certainly not Quick-like numbers, as this is a guy who has won 293 career games, has a 2.30 career goals against average, a career .916 save percentage, and 49 career shutouts.
When he was in net this season, he has looked uncomfortable, unsure of himself, and really seemed to be battling the puck. When Quick is on top of his game, he challenges shooters, controls rebounds, does not allow many soft goals, and is great on second and third chances.
This season, however, Quick has struggled with all of those things. With him having surgery, one has to wonder if this is something that has plagued him to start the year. It would certainly explain a lot, and should even calm both his team and their fans’ nerves. As a goaltender myself, I would imagine that this kind of injury hinders mobility and the ability for a netminder to be aggressive.
There may even be some hesitation mentally because if you know you are hurt, you do not want to do anything to make things worse. If you’ve watched Quick, you know that he is a very active goalie that likes to come out of his crease and cut down the angles, so if he was hurt in the games he did play this season, doing those kinds of things would be a bit tougher.
Quick has had the worst luck this season. Hopefully, things will get better sooner rather than later for both Quick and the Kings because if they do not, they could be golfing come early April.
(Photo:Los Angeles Times)