Eight years ago to the day, Jonathan Quick
made his NHL debut with the Kings in the club's 8-2 vcitory over the Buffalo Sabres at STAPLES Center.
The Kings, 10-15-2 (22 PTS) coming into the game on December 6, 2007, sat dead-last in the Pacific Division and Western Conference, and 29th out of 30 teams in the NHL.
NHL debuts can’t be easy, and the nerves have to be unbearable, but for Quick that night, the Kings built a 7-0 lead on the Sabres through the midway point of the game with a flurry of goals on Buffalo’s Jocelyn Thibault and Ryan Miller.
Quick, who recorded 15 saves that night, made his biggest one on Derek Roy midway through the first period when the Kings’ lead was just 2-0.
Dustin Brown (2G, 1A) and Anze Kopitar (4A) combined for seven points that game; in fact, they are the only two players on the ice for the Kings that night, beside Quick, who are still with the team.
They were, also, arguably the two most positive things going for the Kings at the time. Brown extended a point-streak to seven games (5G, 6A), Kopitar five games (3G, 6A).
Oh, and someone else wore #73 for the Kings then. Does the name John Zeiler ring a bell?
Prior to the Kings’ 8-2 drubbing of the Sabres that night, Buffalo had outscored the Kings 23-5 in the teams’ previous three meetings.
After Quick got the nod to start, the Kings had accumulated the use of nine different goaltenders over a four-season period, and all five they had used the season before Quick’s debut were no longer with the franchise.
Quick would go on to start one more game during the 2007-’08 season, and appear in another before making 44 appearances the following season. The Kings used a combined seven goaltenders the year Quick made his debut.
Buffalo’s announcers tabbed the Kings’ situation in net as “the big goalie hunt”.
Alas, little did anyone know, that hunt was over.