EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Kings general manager Dean Lombardi was steaming mad to the point he couldn't bring himself to pick up the phone to call Jonathan Quick, for fear out of what he would say. So he had assistant general manager Ron Hextall make the call.
Goalie - LAK
GAA: 1.55 | SVP: 0.949
Imagine that -- Hextall, one of the most ferocious and fiery goaltenders to ever play in the NHL, was considered the mild-mannered one when it came to lecturing Quick about his indefensible and irresponsible act of sleeping through a part of a practice and a breakfast meeting with goalie development coach Kim Dillabaugh when he was a first-year pro in the minors.
"I remember never yelling, just telling him to grow up," Hextall told NHL.com. "I do remember telling him that I don't care if he has to set eight alarm clocks, I never want to make this phone call again."
Lombardi thinks of that story every time he's asked about Quick's growth into a Vezina Trophy finalist and Conn Smythe Trophy candidate halfway through the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
"When you ask me how far he's come," Lombardi told NHL.com, "that's how far he's come."
To his credit Quick, who is 8-1 with a 1.55 goals-against average and .949 save percentage in the playoffs, confirmed the story was indeed accurate.
What did he learn from it?
"It was wake up, literally," Quick told NHL.com. "Everything you do, there is stuff that you can pull out of it. There are still things I can learn from. That's a situation where it was my first year pro and I maybe got away with a little too much in college. You go there and you realize how responsible you have to be for yourself, because at that time I wasn't doing it."
When a small part of Quick's story was told to Dustin Brown, the Kings captain simply smiled and said he was not at all surprised.
COYOTES VS. KINGS
Coyotes, Kings share formula for success
By Jerry Brown - NHL.com Correspondent There won't be many surprises when the Kings and Coyotes face off in the Western Conference Finals. The Pacific Division rivals are built in the same image. READ MORE ›
"I wouldn't be surprised if he does that now. He likes his sleep," Brown joked. "He's just very laid-back in his demeanor."
But now that's a good thing for Quick and the Kings.
No, he has never missed another practice due to a snooze on the couch, but Quick's L.A.-style, calm, composed, laid-back personality works perfectly for him and the Kings.
"There is never any panic," Brown added. "You see it sometimes, goalies throwing their hands up in the air or slamming their stick after they get scored on; he just pulls the puck out of the net, lines up and gets ready to go. He has a big impact in how the team reacts to goals."
"Yeah he's laid-back," defenseman Drew Doughty told NHL.com. "He gets pretty [upset] if he makes a mistake or if he has a bad game because he's always the first to blame himself and he's hard on himself, but he is laid-back and he likes to have fun. He's not like most goalies around the League."
Doughty gets to see the other side of Quick, the family side, quite often as he sometimes stops by for dinner. Quick's wife, Jaclyn does the cooking, Doughty said.
Seeing Quick at home, with his wife and two-year-old daughter Madison, gives Doughty a sense of how much the goalie has grown up.
"He has a great family and he really loves them," Doughty said. "And at practice I find he's just a workhorse out there. If he really wants to play his best in practice, you're not going to score on him. He still has a lot of fun with what he does, but he just takes everything so serious. He buckles down and loves to make those big saves for us."
Quick's compete level in practice is pretty notorious around the Kings.
"My first year pro that is something I picked up, what you have to bring every day to practice," Quick said. "You believe in yourself and you believe you can play at a high level, but at the same time you have to prove it, not only to yourself but to your teammates, coaches, management, everyone."
He feels he still has a lot to prove even though his numbers, specifically goals-against average, save percentage and shutouts, have gotten better in each of the past three years. This season, Quick won 35 games with a 1.95 GAA, .929 save percentage and 10 shutouts.
"He's grown a ton," Brown said. "When he first came in he had flashes of what he's doing now … but from the standpoint of growth, the biggest place he's grown is with his consistency. What you've seen for 82 games and nine playoff games from him this year, we had that for about 50-60 games last year. Now he's had a full year where he's on his game. He's a year older and a year wiser, and that helps with consistency."
And to think, it all started because his alarm clock wasn't loud enough.
"It was a learning experience, a good lesson, and he came to realize that if he had to set four alarm clocks, you set four alarm clocks," Kings goalie coach Bill Ranford told NHL.com. "Hey, young guys go through it. He was a heavy sleeper. It's not like he was immature or up all night; it was just part of learning how to be a pro."