Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 5/10/12
For many talented goaltenders, finding that long-sought rhythm and routine over an 82 game season is a major key in establishing consistency and maintaining good numbers. When a goaltender records a 1.95 goals against average and .929 save percentage with 10 shutouts over 69 games, as Jonathan Quick did in a regular season that drew a Vezina Trophy nomination, it's a reflection of a goaltender's widespread success under many adverse conditions and challenges. While Quick's play was outstanding across the board in 2011-12, he has especially thrived with a spaced-out schedule, posting a 5-0-1 record under Sutter when starting a game after at least three days of rest. In the playoffs, where television schedules often dictate two full days between games, Quick would appear to feel awfully secure in his goaltending rhythm not that that really changes nything. This zone of comfort is important, as the Kings will have spent six days standing over their slapshot once Game 1 rolls around Sunday at 5:00 p.m. Game 2 is scheduled for Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. Is there any special approach to feeling comfortable in a slightly more irregular schedule? "Same thing we've been doing all year," Quick answered to reporters on Thursday. "Obviously we're going to have a couple more days of practice than normal, and just going in to every practice as if we were playing a game the next day and prepare really as if we were playing a game the next day. I think guys do a good job of challenging each other out there, and that's going to keep us sharp by doing that." Quick has remained steady throughout the heavy workload. Unlike his 2009-10 season, when an overworked NHL sophomore drew 72 starts and posted an improvable .903 save percentage from February 1 onward, the 26 year old has drawn a few comparisons to some of the all-time greats one month into Los Angeles' playoff "marathon", as the grind was described by Darryl Sutter. "He's the same as Hasek, same as Belfour," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "He never quits on the puck. It's a very unique skill. It's not common. He never stops looking for a puck." Sutter described the ebb and flow of production over Quick's season-long body of work and how an 82-game season naturally affects the output of good goaltenders. "I think he only played two or three back to back games in the second half, so you try and manage it and try and manage his practices properly," Sutter said. "He's a guy who's going to work hard always in practice, but you've got to make sure he's working on the game situation things. I think that's a lot of times where those top guys when they have a little bit of an issue in their game, it's in their practice habits because maybe they're playing too much, or the travel." Conversely, the Kings were able to find success against Brian Elliott in the second round when the goaltender's equilibrium was disrupted. As one half of the venerable regular season platoon with Jaroslav Halak, Elliott wasn't able to recapture his All-Star form when pushed into starting four consecutive games due to Halak's ankle injury. Without a safety net that allowed him to work out his kinks, Elliott allowed 11 goals over the final three games of the series, and one of St. Louis' strongest assets all season long turned into a heavy liability. "Maybe we exposed St. Louis' goaltending a little bit, but this time of year it's about hardwork, getting on the forecheck, making it hard on their guys who play a lot of minutes," Dustin Brown said. "I mean, Ekman-Larsson plays 30 minutes a game for Phoenix. It's important for us to get on him. He's a younger guy, and we've got to wear on guys like that throughout the series. The other guy you've really got to make it hard on is Mike Smith. In describing the feeling he was getting from the players during the six-day stretch away from playoff hockey, Sutter used the term "anxious" on Thursday, referring to the team's departure from an every-second or every-third-day schedule. The team appears to be focusing on the smaller, more immediate goals, or as Dustin Penner described it on Wednesday, "like getting ready for the first period, first shift for the next game in Phoenix." "I think you've just got to keep the foot on the gas," Colin Fraser said. "I know we've got some days off, but you can't be satisfied or complacent. You've got to keep the mindset that it's the playoffs." "It's going to be hard. I think everybody knows what's at stake and everybody in the whole league wants to win every night. It's not going to be easy, but we're excited to get started."
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Bright future for Minnesota Timberwolves

Eli and Archie Manning say Peyton won’t likely leave Denver if he plays in 2016

NCAA mulls changes to graduate transfer and targeting rules

Cavs active in NBA trade market, covet Jared Dudley

Roger Goodell expectedly dodges Patriots-related questions at Super Bowl

Baltimore Orioles acquire starting pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

USC athletic director Pat Haden to retire in June

Report: Browns owner ‘frustrated, emotional’ about Johnny Manziel

Raiders and Texans to play MNF game in Mexico City in 2016

Goodell wants to keep Raiders, Chargers in home markets

Deadly shooting breaks out at Dublin boxing weigh-in

Mike Shula vs. Wade Phillips: The best story of Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name every NFL regular season MVP

WATCH: Avery Bradley nails buzzer beater to beat Cavs

WATCH: Jimmy Butler taken to locker room in wheel chair

Klay Thompson's first five years in historical context

WATCH: Cubs' Kris Bryant went swimming with sharks

Sports Authority taking steps to file for bankruptcy

Major League Baseball threatens to disassociate from DraftKings

NFL considering moving Pro Bowl to Australia

Joe Montana warns NFL players about potential long-term damage after retirement

Report: Two people fired for leaking Jason Pierre-Paul information

‘Crying Jordan’ photographer had no idea it existed until this week

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in the NHL playoff hunt

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

The top six matchups that could decide Super Bowl 50

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

10 underrated performances in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in playoff hunt

QUIZ: Name the Super Bowl halftime performers since 1991

Manziel's father fears for QB's life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker