2012 NHL Playoffs: L.A. Kings Will Win Behind Goalie Jonathan Quick

Jonathan Quick's storybook season highlight might well have been his nomination as one of three Vezina Trophy candidate finalists. That will be surpassed by his forthcoming leading role in the Kings capturing the Stanley Cup.

The tale of Quick's rise to the upper echelon of NHL goalies is an inspiring one. He played his college hockey at University of Massachusetts, an unlikely source of pro players.

In the 2005 draft he was selected 72nd in the third round making him the eighth goalie picked.  Four of those goalies selected ahead of him have yet to play an NHL game.

The Kings, at the time, had just acquired Mathieu Garon in a trade from Montreal and he appeared to be their future net-minder. Just in case Garon did not pan out in succession they drafted Jonathan Bernier with the 11th pick of the first round in 2006, and later acquired Jason LaBarbera.  

Quick appeared destined to languish in Manchester, NH, the Kings American Hockey League  affiliate, as a mere emergency stand-in possibility.

When LaBarbera surrendered six goals in a loss at Colorado in early December, 2008 the door opened for Quick. He capitalized on the opportunity by producing shutouts in two of his first three stats, three of his first 13 and four of his first 26 and has been the starter ever since.

Those of us on the East Coast have been bedazzled by Martin Brodeur, Henrik Lundqvist, Tim Thomas, Ryan Miller and perhaps do not recognize the stunning Quick improvement the past couple of years.

Year    Goals Against    Save Percent


2009           2.54                  90.7

2010          &...

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