Any Los Angeles Kings team MVP discussion should begin and end with the name ‘Jonathan Quick’.
The venerable netminder has been playing on another level since the season began.
He has now broken a 35 year old team record.
When the Milford, CT native stopped all 19 shots against the Calgary Flames on March 28th, his ninth shutout of the season, he established a new team record.
The Kings won the game, 3-0.
The previous record (8 shutouts) was established by iconic Kings goaltender Rogie Vachon, in the 1976-77 season.
This was also the 10th team shutout for the Kings, which ties the team record set in 2000-01 season.
More importantly, Quickie is still playing his best hockey, and at the most important time of the season.
This will the third straight season that Quick’s vital stats have improved –
2009-10 : 2.55 goals against avg / .907 save pctg / 4 shutouts
2010-11 : 2.24 GAA / .918 save % / 6 shutouts
2011-12 : 1.93 GAA / .930 save % / 9 shutouts
Kings are now 1-1 after two games of this crucial four game road trip.
This was a much-needed win against one of the six teams battling for either the Pacific division crown, or one of the final two playoff spots.
The team is now in seventh place in the Western conference, but only one point behind Dallas, for the Pacific division lead.
While the Kings were winning in Calgary, the San Jose Sharks were losing in Anaheim, making an already tight race, even tighter.
The Kings also put the Flames in the uneviable position of now being three points out of a playoff spot, with only four games remaining in their season.
Colorado is also on life-support, after their heart wrenching 1-0 loss to Vancouver on this fateful evening. They are only two points out of a playoff spot, but have only three games remaining, and would need to displace two teams, to make it to the postseason.
The Phoenix Coyotes are only one point out. If they beat the Sharks on Thursday night, they will then have the chance to control their own playoff destiny.
Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Jose, and Dallas, all have five games left in the season.
Kings have won 3 of their last 5, while outscoring the opposition 11-6, with 2 shutouts.
Kings’ remaining opponents –
Fri @ Edmonton
Sat @ Minnesota
Mon, Apr 2nd vs Edmonton
Thurs, Apr 5th vs San Jose
Sat, Apr 7th @ San Jose
That final home and home series against the Sharks may be just enough to tip the Earth off it’s axis.
I can hardly wait. This is what true sports fans live for.
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