Looking Down The Barrel Of A Gun – Previewing Jonathan Quick

Jonathan-Quick

The Kings forwards aren’t going to make things easy on the Hawks defense, their defense isn’t quite as solid as last year but still big and strong enough that Chicago forwards will have to fight for every chance. But it’s in the crease where the Kings have their biggest advantage over the Hawks. In both series prior to this, it could be said Crawford was just as good if not better than the opposing team’s netminder. That’s not the case here. Jonathan Quick is once again taking his a solid regular season and turning it into a phenomenal post-season. If you were worried about Howard being able to steal a series, you’ll probably want to hide under your coffee table when you watch Quick.

Now, that’s not to say that Quick is some unbeatable demigod. His regular season stats (.902SV% and 2.45GAA) were actually down quite a bit from the previous year (.929SV% and 1.95GAA). He only won 3 of his first 11 starts for the year and lost a few starts to Jonathan Bernier, who I’m not even really going to talk about in this preview.

The slow start could perhaps be due to rust buildup over the prolonged off-season but is more likely related to the surgery Quick underwent this summer to repair a herniated disc in his back. Quick would rebound throughout the year and firmly cement himself as the starter for the Kings. As the playoffs have gone on, last year’s Conn Smythe winner has only stepped up his game. And really, you’d have no where to go but up when you start off the playoffs like this.

After that boner, Quick has suddenly (definitely almost just wrote “quickly” there) become the force he was in last year’s Cup run. His .948sv% so far is two points better than where he ended last year… and that was already the highest anyone’s ever had in the postseason since people have been tracking that stat.

Quick plays an aggressive and strong style. He’s been actively coming out of his crease to challenge shooters and isn’t afraid to get physical and do his best to clear the crease on his own rather than waiting for his defensemen to come do it for him. If Bickell wants to try and get his ass in front of Quick’s face, he’s going to have to expect a few whacks to the back of his knees.

The key for Chicago shooters is going to be quite similar to what it was when Howard’s glove hand caught fire in the last series. Fast, hard shots, low to the ground and from angles all over the place. Quick is remarkably strong on his skates and has reflexes like a cat on PCP. Because of this, he cheats a bit and doesn’t always square off on shooters, trusting his skill to be able to get a glove or leg out in time rather than simply taking away angles.

If the Hawks are able to get shots low, Quick is vulnerable to giving up a big rebound and that’s where the Hawks are going to have to find ways to score. If they look to roof one over his glove, they’re only going to find disappointment. Don’t trust an open net either – somehow.. he’ll find a way to get there.

Quick could also have a bit of a weakness in his level of intensity. He’s not afraid to yell at officials or throw the puck at someone after a collision. When the game’s pressure is rising, so will Quick’s excitement. Most of the time, that means he’s able to find another level just to make a save. Sometimes though, it could mean he loses his net and hopes to simply make the highlight save. The Hawks still have enough players on this squad to know what it’s like to get inside the head of a netminder. If they can find a way to do what they did to Roberto Luongo, Quick is going to have a harder time staying even in his game… or he’ll just flip right out and reach an even higher level of play. Could be dangerous either way.

 

With a far less intimidating squad of skaters, the Sharks were still able to find plenty of chances against the Kings and it was Quick who was able to bail them out. The Hawks will find their opportunities, they’ll just have to capitalize them. He’s only given up more than 2 goals twice and has 3 shutouts to go along with it but he’s not unbeatable. Patience and persistance will be everything.

  • CommonSense1957

    Shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot. That goes for you, too, Mr. Hossa. The only way we beat this guy is to pepper him with pucks until enough go in.

  • corbant

    I’ve heard a lot of Kings fans talk about getting Toews to lose his shit like he did vs Detroit. (I live in So Cal so I’m hearing a lot of Kings fans right now). If I know Toews, he’s not going to have a moment like that again.

    • 1benmenno

      He will not.

    • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

      In so many ways that Detroit series was ideal. To have gone through it the way we did, in retrospect we’re lucky for it. Toews’s meltdowns and mind lapses, the team’s disappearance after game 1, the 3-game comeback, the comeback in game 6, the disallowed goals, the stupidly hot goalie … who knows who’ll win, but I can’t see us making the same mistakes we made mid-series against Detroit.

  • frank

    If we get 40 or more shots a game and keeps our shots against around 25 we will be fine. The key is winning the first two at home. None of this we are not prepared to play stuff. Go from the drop of the puck and pounce on their west coast sorry butts.

    • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

      That’s one of the bigger ifs I’ve read in a while

      • Accipiter

        Well, he was being frank.

        • 1benmenno

          You are a Stute.

          • mad-hatter

            Racist.

          • 1benmenno

            Crazy milliner.

          • mad-hatter

            I believe the PC term is “manic.”

          • 1benmenno

            Just another manic milliner.

          • mad-hatter

            I know, there’s so many of us since business is booming. Tinfoil seems to be the latest rage.

          • 1benmenno
          • mad-hatter

            Blocked.

            The video, not you.

          • 1benmenno
          • mad-hatter

            Success! Ironically it’s a German upload, considering the Vaterland blocks essentially every other video.

          • 1benmenno

            Ja, das ist sicher wannsinnig!

          • 1benmenno

            wahnsinnig.

          • mad-hatter

            editieren

          • 1benmenno

            Du bist wahnsinnig wie ein Hutmacher, kerl.

          • mad-hatter

            Danke!

          • 1benmenno

            Kein Problem.

          • Z-man19

            Bernie, is that you?

          • 1benmenno

            Es war mich, ganz bestimmtlich.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Faker/558555424 John Faker

    Quick is the one thing (besides our PK unit due for a regression) that scares me about the Kings. However, Quick is always squatting low and the defense is always keeping shots from low percentage angles. If they can take advantage of his aggressiveness and squatting play-style(there will be room up high), the Hawks can win this series.

    The one thing that gives me solace about this series is that St. Louis and San Jose sucked all year at scoring goals and being good at hockey. Does that mean that the Blues and Sharks all of the sudden became good in the post-season or does it mean that LA really isn’t as good as last year?

    I think that’s a question that is very important. Remember, the Hawks played LA 3 times and scored 5, 3, and 4 goals against them. The Kings haven’t faced a team like the Hawks in quite some time.

    I’m confident that the Blackhawks can win this one, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Kings come out on top because of Quick doing that thing that Mike Smith did to Chicago last year.

    I see it going 6-7 games and the Blackhawks coming out on top. Bring on the Bruins!

    • Ingmar Bergman

      I think Pittsburgh will come out of the East. It’s Crosby’s year after all that he has endured. If the Hawks make it to the finals (that’s a big “IF”) they will play the Pens in all likelihood, which would make the Winter Classic at Soldier Field next year even more important and distinguishable.

  • DesertHawk

    Who’s this Alex Broadhurst kid who just signed with the team?

    • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

      Small, creative type, offensive-minded. I think he played for the US team in the juniors … or maybe he was one of the last cuts. Anyway, played in the OHL for the Knights, put up respectable numbers. Others will know better than I, but I’d think he projects to be a Brandon Pirri-ish player if EVERYTHING goes right. If he develops and edge or some defensive prowess, maybe a 3rd or 4th center? It’s probable he’d be in London next year, too, but I’m not 100 percent on that.

    • girlphoenix

      his bro terry played some for the hogs this season but mostly spent time in toledo. might have been hurt for awhile also. i can’t really think of anything about him… but looking at my stat sheet he played 31 games and had 5 goals and 8 assists. wow i do not remember that at all.

      • DesertHawk

        What is Stan’s fascination with family members?

  • cliffkoroll

    Patience and persistance indeed!

    “I run six plays, split veer, like novacaine. Just give it time- always works.”

    The Kings are offensively-challenged. Don’t let this bag of douche beat you guys, Hawks.

    • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

      *ence

      • cliffkoroll

        Hey, thanks buddy!

    • Skags

      *ence’, which stands for ‘Excellent new comment.

    • Z-man19

      Ents

      • mad-hatter

        The Ents are going to war.

  • Fleshrifle

    “If the Hawks are able to get shots low, Quick is vulnerable to giving up a big rebound and that’s where the Hawks are going to have to find ways to score.”

    And a big rebound requires someone around the net. Hawks figured that out in Games 5,6 & 7. But LA seems like they can keep the crease clear MUCH better than Detroit. Dirty goals are going to win this series. I give the edge to LA on that but I hope I’m wrong.

    • Paul the Fossil

      Of course it’s no longer legal under NHL rules, even NHL playoffs rules, to keep the crease clear; we’d be happy to have them try that as it will lead to Hawk powerplays. But the Kings D is too experienced for that.

      What they can and will try to do is keep Hawk forwards from getting inside position on them in front of Quick. I’m not seeing any particular reason to believe that they’ll be better at it than Detroit’s D though, who was pretty good at it for the first few games of the last series.

      • lizmcneill

        You used “happy” and “Hawk powerplay” in the same sentence…

  • laaarmer

    I am filled with fear

    • 1benmenno

      Don’t fear the keeper.

    • mad-hatter

      “I am filled with fear.”
      I’m not familiar with this type of alcohol.

    • Accipiter

      You’ve got the Quickness.

  • Nineteen88

    Fuuuuuuuuck. This preview gives me the unpleasant sensation of someone walking over my grave. Quick is a freak of nature and he scares me.

  • Ingmar Bergman

    Quick study. Let’s examine the contrasts between the two towns.

    LA is the land of milk and honey … and broken dreams. Chicago is still the city of broad shoulders and the down to earth midwest.

    LA is the land of the ultra phony and superficial persona. Chicago is the land of the salt of the earth.

    LA hockey was founded in 1967. Blackhawk hockey is the Original Six in 1926.

    LA is OJ Simpson, Justin Bieber, Kardashian, and Lindsay Lohan. Chicago is Belushi, Jordan, Hull, Mikita, Butkus, and Payton.

    LA is 75 degrees in January. Chicago is -20 degrees in January (talk about braving the elements).

    LA hockey is when the fans arrive to their home games at the start of the second period and leave at the start of the third period. Blackhawk hockey is when every seat is filled before the start of the National Anthem.

    LA is weak. Chicago is strong.

    Let’s go Hawks.

    • guest

      All of these things about the cities’ characters might make sense if literally any of the players actually grew up in the city they played in and weren’t highly paid mercenaries from around the world…..

      I mean you gave great reasons for us to feel smugly superior to their fans, but that doesn’t have anything to do with who’s actually going to win the hockey games.

      • cliffkoroll

        This gets 4 recs? No offense, you are obviously correct, but this is fan stuff. In my opinion, it’s more fun than the ridiculous but harmless “this guy’s dog craps on Sharp’s lawn and the Hawks win” memes. Everyone understands that you don’t want to be THAT GUY who bursts the illusion in that case, right?

        • guest

          Look man that dogshit clearly has magical powers don’t even start. No bubble there.

          Also.. let the record show that I fucking love feeling smugly superior to other teams’ fans. That’s like #3 on my list of what’s best in life (for reference:
          1. To see the hawks win
          2. To crush my enemies, see them driven before me, and hear the lamentation of their women
          3. To smugly feel superior to other teams’ fans
          4. To boldly split infinitives)

          • cliffkoroll

            All right then. I still remember Kirk Gibson’s 1988 World Series Game 7 walk-off winner. As it sailed over the right field wall in Chavez Ravine, you saw the tail lights of a car leaving the parking lot. Classic. At the 43 second mark:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U157X0jy5iw

            LA fans are a joke.

            See- it’s fun!

          • cliffkoroll

            I just want to put this in perspective.

            My dad is 80. He grew up in what is now Wrigleyville, and prolly attended a dozen Cub games a year for 50 years.

            The last time the Cubs won the World Series was 25 years before he was born.

            And the fucktard above was at the fucking game!

          • Ingmar Bergman

            Great point. I saw the video and remember the game. What struck me is that there were only about 20% of a sold out crowd left (talk about giving up or leaving so they can get their lattes).

      • Ingmar Bergman

        Very true. Of course there is not a player that was born in each of the two cities represented, but that being said, LA fans still suck!!!

        LA has no NFL teams.
        LA has only won one Stanley Cup
        LA hasn’t won a World Series since 1988 (25 years ago).
        LA has the Lakers, but we had the Bulls. Neutral cancel out.

    • cliffkoroll

      Smiths vs. Grabowskis.

      - Da coach

  • Ingmar Bergman

    Well, what I noticed in the San Jose series is that if you can get bodies in front of Quick to impair his vision he can be had. Bickell and Shaw will get opportunities to frustrate him down low. He is the best goalie the Hawks have faced in the playoffs and LA is very physical (something the Hawks have difficulties with).

    Hopefully, the Blackhawks can gain momentum in the first game and carry it to the Sunday game. I don’t like the back-to-back games and we can thank the 50 year old Rolling Stones for that.

  • 1benmenno

    Jon be nimble; Jon beat Quick.

    • Nineteen88

      so much upboat