EL SEGUNDO, Calif. --
Those that have been around Los Angeles Kings
goalie Jonathan Quick
know that getting him to talk about himself is not easy.
Quick is overly modest and prefers to frame individual accomplishment in a team context, and he was no different after his nomination for the Vezina Trophy was announced Wednesday.
"It's something that a lot of hard work has been put into and it kind of goes to credit the way these guys played in front of me all year," Quick said. "Being a goaltender is a position that you're more dependent on your teammate than any other position in sports. For your goalie to be put in a category like that, these guys are doing a tremendous job, which they've done for me all year."
Modesty aside, Quick clearly established himself this season and, at 26, is already considered among the top goalies in club history.
He led the NHL with 10 shutouts, was second in goals-against average at 1.95 and tied for fifth in save percentage (.929), which were all Kings' single-season records. He is the first Kings goalie to win 30 games (35 this season) for three straight seasons.
Quick had three straight shutouts from Oct. 18-22 and ran a consecutive scoreless streak to 202 minutes, 11 seconds. Quick was the foundation of a Kings team that failed to provide him offense. There were five games in which Quick allowed one goal and still lost, including back-to-back 1-0 losses on Feb. 16-18.
"It's kind of like a pitcher that gets no run support," Colin Fraser
said. "He did his job. We've got to do ours. Those are the games where he doesn't get those wins in the win column."
Kings coach Darryl Sutter
has said that a goaltender has to win 40 games in order to win the Vezina. But Sutter said Thursday that Quick's other numbers provide argument for the nod. Quick was second to Brian Elliott
of St. Louis in goals-against average.
"If you look at the big picture, he's the only guy that's either first or second to Elliott in three or four [categories] and Elliott's ahead of him in one other one," Sutter said. "Honestly, for Quick, it's too bad [with] St. Louis you can't do a two-for-one. If it was, then it's probably the direction it's going."
Quick is the youngest of the three nominees and acknowledged so when he referenced Henrik Lundqvist
of the New York Rangers
and Pekke Rinne of the Nashville Predators
"It's a tremendous honor to be put in a category with Hank and Pekke," said Quick, who is 4-1 with a 1.59 GAA in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. "They're two great goalies in this League, well-respected goalies … at the same time, though, it's not the trophy that I set out to win. We still have a shot at the other one."
No King has won the Vezina. Rogie Vachon and Gary Edwards
were runners-up in 1975.
McDonald an X-factor:
Sutter acknowledged that there is an unknown factor with St. Louis in that his team did not see Andy McDonald
in the regular season. Also, David Perron
and Alexander Steen
played only two games against L.A.
Sutter pointed to McDonald and Steen as factors.
"The two 1-0 games [on Feb. 3 and March 22] -- they didn't play either game, so obviously it fortifies the first or second line," Sutter said. "They're able to play [David] Backes, [T.J.] Oshie and McDonald, Steen and [Patrik] Berglund. They're top guys … McDonald is probably real similar to Justin Williams
. Both guys won the Cup … it's a pretty good matchup."
Sutter still prefers home:
Sutter is a stickler for routine and scheduling, and he spent the past two days talking about when his team might travel to St. Louis.
He pointed out that that is a product of not having home-ice advantage, and he didn't read much into the success that road teams are having in the postseason.
The Kings won three games in Vancouver and are on a franchise-record five-game road playoff winning streak. But don't tell that to Sutter.
"As you go along, that's all [meaningless]," Sutter said. "I know from the experience of it. The less travel you have, you want to be in your own building. It still [makes] a big difference. It's very simple. I'd rather be having players getting treated in our treatment centers and not in a hotel and not on an airplane, and getting practice in your own building."