Is Jonathan Quick the Kryptonite for Chicago Blackhawks’ Explosive Offense?

Among all of the superstars whose successes and failures will have a tremendous impact on the Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks matchup in the Western Conference Final, no player's performance will play a bigger role in determining the outcome of the series than Jonathan Quick's.

The dilemma for the Blackhawks to solve is finding ways to beat Los Angeles' starting goaltender on a consistent basis, which has proven to be the most difficult of challenges in the playoffs thus far.

As well as Quick played last season when he led the Kings to their first championship in franchise history as the Conn Smythe Trophy winner, he's been as good or better in several statistical categories during the 2013 NHL playoffs.

Year W/L GAA SV% SO 2011-12 16-4 1.41 .946 3 2012-13 8-5 1.50 .948 3 Quick has allowed two goals or fewer in 11 of his last 13 starts and is the most consistent goaltender in the playoffs.

Simply, he's the most dominant player in the world right now. Kings defenseman Drew Doughty put it this way to LA Kings Insider:

He won the Conn Smythe last year, and I was saying to a couple guys yesterday, "He makes better saves than I think he did all playoff run last year."

He’s just been standing on his head for us, and it’s great to have him do that, but I think we’ve got to back him up a little more. He’s been having to make too many big saves.

When the Blackhawks made a stronger effort to get bodies in front of Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard in their second-round series, they started to score more goals and make Howard work harder to stop the puck in traffic.

This has to be the game plan against the Kings, but since Quick plays so low to the ice, he rarely loses sight of the puck and stays calm, cool and collected when there is heavy traffic in front of his net. His strong positioning and vision allow him to stop deflec...

About the Author