Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick has pretty good lately, posting a 4-3-1 record with a 1.99 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage in his last eight games.
But he still finds himself in a time share with Jonathan Bernier, who ranks second in the NHL in goals-against average (1.77) and fifth in save percentage (.927).
After Quick beat Edmonton Saturday, Kings coach Darryl Sutter declined to say which goaltender would start Sunday against the Ducks.
“Doesn’t matter,” Sutter told reporters Saturday. “Keep them fresh. There’s no issues, right? Our schedule says that you need two goalies that are fresh. We can take that from teams that are ahead of us in the league, to be quite honest . . . Chicago and Anaheim. So why not do what they do?”
Sutter chose Quick to start against the Oilers even though Bernier shut out the Minnesota Wild in the game before.
“We trust them both,” Sutter said. “We have to do it that way. We want them both to be consistent and we'll definitely need them both.”
Bernier is pushing Quick to regain his brilliant Stanley-Cup winning form of the season before. “It's a little bit of a gut-check time,” Kings goaltending coach Bill Ranford told the Los Angeles Times. “He realizes he's got to elevate his game another level.”
Quick struggled in his recovering from back surgery, a process delayed by the NHL lockout.
“Mentally, it's just been a grind for him this year,” Ranford told the Times. “With the surgery, your whole routine of what you do to prepare for the season is out the door. You go probably five full months, six, without a serious practice, so the way he has prepared in the past was out the door, and I think it's worn on him.
“And the schedule hasn't allowed for a lot of maintenance days, and I think that's been tough too. So you're trying to fix things not only physically but mentally in a very tiny window.”