EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – What has been known for quite some time became reality Thursday: Jonathan Quick is an All-Star goalie.
Probably the only thing surprising about the announcement is that this is Quick’s first All-Star selection. Quick was informed on the ice during the morning skate.
The only other Kings goalies to earn the honor are Terry Sawchuk, Rogie Vachon and Mario Lessard.
“It’s a great accomplishment,” Quick said. “I’m looking forward to do it at the end of the month. … It’s something I’m looking forward to. It’ll be a great time, a good couple of days. But that’s a couple of weeks away here. We’ve got a lot to do here in the next couple of weeks.”
Quick typically downplayed his selection and repeatedly said his focus is on Thursday night’s game against the Dallas Stars.
It is that focus that has propelled Quick to an outstanding first half.
He entered Thursday ranked in the top five in the NHL with a 1.93 goals-against average and .934 save percentage with a league-leading six shutouts in 35 starts.
That’s even more impressive considering Quick has little margin for error backstopping the worst offense in the NHL. L.A. has averaged just 2.09 goals per game this season.
“He’s had to be on every night,” Matt Greene said. “He can’t have an off night. That’s hard to do with his position when you play as much as he does, and he’s done it for us. If you look around, there’s not a lot of teams that score as much as we do and still be in the playoff hunt. He’s been awesome.”
Quick has been particularly hot under coach Darryl Sutter with a 6-1-2 record, 1.18 GAA and .948 save percentage in his last nine starts (Sutter is 6-1-3 with the Kings).
Prior to coming to L.A., Sutter was mostly aware of Quick through his statistics. But Sutter knows the
background on Quick, 25, a third round draft pick who won the job over the more highly-regarded Jonathan Bernier in the 2008-09 season.
“It’s nice to see,” Sutter said. “A guy that’s come the hard way, paid his dues and he’s having a great season. He should be there.”
Voynov in: Defenseman Slava Voynov will return to the lineup from an upper-body injury, Sutter said.
Voynov gives Los Angeles a much-needed offensive presence, particularly on the power play. Voynov has four goals and six assists with a plus-two rating in 24 games as a rookie.
Alec Martinez will likely be scratched to make room for Voynov.
Sutter’s new home: In an odd anecdote to the coaching change in L.A., Sutter on Tuesday moved in to the residence of former Kings coach Terry Murray.
Asked if Murray showed him how to run the microwave, Sutter quipped, “I’m not very good at any of that stuff.”
Here are the projected lineups:
Steve Ott - Jamie Benn - Michael Ryder
Brenden Morrow - Tom Wandell - Loui Eriksson
Eric Nystrom - Radek Dvorak -Vernon Fiddler
Jake Dowell - Toby Petersen - Adam Burish
Alex Goligoski - Stephane Robidas
Nicklas Grossman - Trevor Daley
Sheldon Souray - Mark Fistric
Dustin Brown - Anze Kopitar - Justin Williams
Dustin Penner - Mike Richards - Jarret Stoll
Brad Richardson - Andrei Loktionov - Trevor Lewis
Kyle Clifford - Colin Fraser - Trent Hunter
Drew Doughty - Rob Scuderi
Willie Mitchell - Alec Martinez
Jack Johnson - Matt Greene