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Kings' Quick deserves playoff MVP at halfway point

Friday, 05.31.2013 / 3:33 PM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

By Shawn P. Roarke - Senior Managing Editor

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Kings' Quick deserves playoff MVP at halfway point
Los Angeles Kings' Jonathan Quick deserves playoff MVP at halfway point.

There was little suspense when it came to who is considered the Most Valuable Player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs after the first two rounds.

Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick convincingly carried the day in a vote among the panel of nine writers at the halfway point of the postseason.

Quick received eight first-place votes and earned 24 of a possible 27 points.

Boston Bruins forward David Krejci, who received the other first-place vote, finished a distant second with 9 points. His teammate, defenseman Zdeno Chara, finished third with 7 points.

Each panelist was asked to name three players for the recognition in order of preference. A first-place vote  was worth three points, a second-place vote was worth two, and a third-place vote received one.

There is little wonder why Quick caught the fancy of the majority of the panel. He is playing at a level we have never seen, not even during his run to the Conn Smythe Trophy last season.

This postseason, he has allowed 20 goals in 13 postseason games during the Kings' nip-and-tuck series against the St. Louis Blues and the San Jose Sharks. His 1.50 goals-against average is the best in the playoffs among goalies who have started at least one game.

Quick's .948 save percentage is also tops in the League, edging Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Tomas Vokoun (.941), who has played in six fewer games. Quick also leads the tournament with three shutouts and is second in minutes played behind Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard.

After the Kings defeated San Jose 2-1 in Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals, even the Sharks had to tip their helmets to the brilliance Quick is displaying this postseason.

"Jonathan Quick is just a fantastic goalie," San Jose captain Joe Thornton said after Game 7.

Thornton was learning what the Kings already knew.

"He's awesome back there for us, and he's making saves he shouldn't (be able to make),"  defenseman Matt Greene said during the second-round series. "It's keeping us in games and it's keeping us alive in this thing,”

Against the Sharks, Quick stopped 171 of the 181 shots fired on him.

In any other postseason, Krejci has the numbers to top an MVP poll. The Bruins center has a playoff-best 17 points, including an overtime winner, is a plus-9, and plays more than 19 minutes per game.

Chara also has been strong so far this postseason. He is playing more than 29 minutes a game, and his ability to handle an increased workload when the Bruins lost three defensemen to injury earlier this postseason is a big reason the Bruins are in the Eastern Conference Final. He has 11 points in 12 games and a plus-7 rating.

Others receiving votes: Kris Letang, Pittsburgh, 6; Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh, 5; Patrick Sharp, Chicago, 1; Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh, 1; Tomas Vokoun, Pittsburgh, 1

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Quote of the Day

I don't have a crystal ball. Predicting is a real complicated thing. If we stay healthy, have enough depth and get the good goaltending we think we're going to have, you can go all the way. But a lot of things have to happen. There's going to be a lot of teams that think the same thing. Everyone made deals. We're all are optimistic about where we'll end up.

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