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Kings Notebook (Dec. 13)

by Rich Hammond / Los Angeles Kings
Jonathan Quick has posted a 7-1-1 mark with a 2.15 GAA and a .925 SV% over hist last nine starts.

Jonathan Quick’s timing couldn’t be much better.

At a time when the schedule is tough on the Kings, and when the eyes of Team USA management are watching closely, Quick has been at his best.

In his last nine games, Quick has a 7-1-1 record, a 2.15 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage. After Sunday’s practice, Kings coach Terry Murray said Quick would start in goal Monday against Vancouver, and Murray didn’t totally close the door on the idea of Quick also starting on Tuesday against Edmonton.

Quick’s strong game on Saturday against Dallas, in which he made 25 saves and kept the Kings in the game early, certainly didn’t escape Murray’s notice.

"His game last night, that's what I was used to seeing last year," Murray said. "He was on top of it, square, very alert, sharp, concentrating, all of those adjectives to describe his play. He was right on course.

"He was giving us the kind of game that we had to have, or else I don't think we would have pulled that one out last night. He was very good at the right time."

Quick has done well for the Kings, and he has also done well for himself.

On Jan. 1, Team USA will announce its roster for the Winter Olympics in February. Since the summer, when he attended a USA camp, Quick has been a strong contender to be the third goalie on the roster, behind Ryan Miller and Tim Thomas.

Quick’s wobbly start to this season, coupled with a strong start by Colorado’s Craig Anderson, put Quick’s Olympic status in question for a while, but pundits across the country largely have gone back to including Quick in their mock selections.

NOT QUITE YET

Ryan Smyth won’t get to make a return to Edmonton this season. Smyth, still revered in the city for his time as an Oiler, remains out with an upper-body injury and is not scheduled to return until Dec. 26, when the Kings resume play after their holiday break.

Smyth has been skating vigorously in practice, and Murray had said he would put Smyth in the lineup as soon as Smyth was cleared, but after Saturday’s game, Murray said Smyth would not play in any of the Kings’ three games in Canada this week.

"Well, I understand the logic behind it," Smyth said. "Obviously I want to play. It's hard, being on the outside looking in. Obviously it's great that the team is playing well and that we're finding way to win, but on the outside you want to be a part of it and feel like you're a part of the team and stuff.

"But we have three games and then we have (eight) days off, so that's an extra full two weeks from yesterday, so it makes logical sense to do it. I'll be ready to go on the 26th and I'll be hungry."

Smyth stayed in Los Angeles and will continue to skate while the Kings are in Canada.

WHAT HAPPENED?
Wayne Simmonds, who on Monday will undergo a procedure to remove cartilage from his left knee, apparently injured himself during Thursday’s game against Dallas, although nobody seems to know quite when or how.

Murray said the game video does not reveal any obvious moments, and Murray said Simmonds did not experience any symptoms until late Friday afternoon.

Murray said he didn’t think there was even any swelling in Simmonds’ knee.

"I'm not the medical staff, but I looked at it and he looked pretty skinny to me," Murray said, then added with a laugh, "He looked as skinny as ever."

Murray said that after Monday’s procedure, a timetable for Simmonds’ return could be set.
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