Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 10/20/11
With 27 saves in a 5-0 rout of the St. Louis Blues Tuesday at STAPLES Center, Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick earned his 15th career shutout and 99th career victory. If you ask him, however, the most important number is three as in the number of wins he's provided the Kings this season. "I think it's more of a milestone for the team than it is personally," Quick said of approaching 100 career wins. "Any time that we're talking about games won, that's a team effort. I owe that to every guy in the locker room here for the past couple of years that's battled for me. At the same time, personally, it is something that you could be proud of. At the end of the day, though, and in the middle of the season here, a win means two points and then you move on from there." Quick has emerged as one of the league's hottest goalies through the small sample size of the season's first two weeks. His .960 save percentage is the league's best amongst all goalies who have played more than one game, while his 1.20 goals against average ranks second. Though still a ways away, he's also inching closer towards Rogie Vachon in several categories in the all-time LA Kings goaltending registry, and should he remain healthy and productive this season, could potentially move to third place all-time in games and minutes played amongst all Los Angeles goaltenders, trailing just Vachon and Kelly Hrudey. "Quick is becoming an NHL goalie, and one of the better ones," Head Coach Terry Murray said. "His game has really taken huge strides in the time when we first called him up in the middle of the 2007-08 season. You get into the playoffs the last two years, he's the goaltender that sees those games, and that kind of experience is incredible for a young player. You can talk about what it's all about as much as you want, but to get through it and see the premier shooters in the game, again, he just keeps building on it and gets better, and we saw a tremendous performance in his game Tuesday night. Aside from Vachon, and periodic excellence from Felix Potvin, and occasionally Jamie Storr and Hrudey, the Kings have not enjoyed consistent goaltending competence until Quick's emergence as a quality option in the 2008-09 season. Los Angeles has received a strong return on the player drafted in the third round, 72nd overall, in 2005. Also as important has been Quick's response and the continuation of his play while being pushed for playing time by Jonathan Bernier, selected 11th overall in 2006. It's not necessarily true in all cases, but goaltenders can be more cerebral than some of their teammates, and the presence of another highly-regarded goalie in a rotation could cause some to go through fluctuations of confidence or over-think certain situations. Acknowledging that goaltending is "the most dependent position, maybe, in all of sports," Bernier's presence has elevated Quick's play to the level that Los Angeles now boasts arguably the best one-two goaltending tandem in the league. In addition to the team's staff, he credits intuition as playing a role in his development. "I've been getting a lot of help from the coaches, goaltending coaches, obviously strength and conditioning coaches," Quick said. "A couple years it's maybe been three or four years here in the league you just learn little things, how to prepare yourself for games so when you step on the ice, you're ready to go 100 percent." "It's pretty much the same thing as every year just a lot of details, making sure you're paying attention to details. When you're doing all the little things right, usually that transfers over and helps the team win games," Quick said. Once again crediting the character of the players in front of him, Quick refused to buy in to the idea that he's been able to "carry the team on his back" no matter his 119 saves on 124 shots faced. "I wouldn't consider that at all. Any of the games here me putting the team on my back I wouldn't consider that situation," Quick said. "It's a tough roadtrip that we're coming off of we're going into Jersey, going into Philly, stuff like that I thought the way we battled through both those games as a team was terrific. We were only able to get one point out of the Jersey game, but still, we had a couple PKs and a couple situations late in the game where guys were digging in, and it's good to get at least that one point out of that game. Philly, obviously, we had guys step up that scored big goals at big times. These are team efforts." NOTES: The Kings face off against the Phoenix Coyotes at 7:00 pm Thursday evening at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Arizona. Fans can catch Bob Miller and Jim Fox's call on FOX Sports West, followed by Kings Live after the game. The game marks a stretch in which four out of five games will be against Pacific Division rivals Phoenix and Dallas. Terry Murray was complimentary of defenseman Slava Voynov, who appeared in his first NHL game Tuesday night and recorded 17:14 of ice time. "The composure side of his game is incredibly high. He has a tremendous amount of confidence in his game and his ability to play at a high level against NHL competition, and I think he exuded that through the training camp, and it just carried through to the game last night," Murray said. Drew Doughty will work out and skate on Thursday in El Segundo as he continues rehabilitating his upper-body injury suffered in a hit by Zac Rinaldo in Saturday's win at Philadelphia. There is no set timetable for his return, though the original diagnosis was 7-10 days. He remains on injured reserve.
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