Sooner, not later, the puck will be dropped at the General Motors Center. For Jonathan Quick, it will be an opportunity to demonstrate that he is more than just the Kings number 1 goaltender, but a legitimate number 1 in the league. There is no better stage to prove this point than the post season.
Kings fans have seen Quick’s high level of play. Tremendous lateral movement and reflexes under control at all times. Square to the shooter even when he slides from one end of the crease to the other. An aggressive poke check. An even more aggressive presence in the face of point shots to cut down angles. Most importantly, a swagger. Quick’s body language tells much about his confidence level or lack thereof. Jonathan is a fierce competitor and you can all but see that intensity in his eyes after he makes the save and between periods when he walks off the ice.
Since the Olympic break, Quick has struggled. He has been unable to control rebounds. Jonathan has been caught out of position by overreacting to the shot. So, what does Quick have to improve? Simple. The area between the ears. He is, as Dean Lombardi has commented, a tremendous athlete. The issue is not a lack of talent nor will, but a crisis of confidence. Jonathan must be reminded that he is greatly responsible for bringing the team to this point. He is the same goaltender that helped the Kings win 9 games in a row only several months ago. He is the one chosen by the U.S. Olympic team as the 3rd option behind world class goalies Ryan Miller and Tim Thomas. He earned every one of those accolades. He has earned the right to lead the Kings through the playoffs. On the subject, Quick said, ““You can never doubt yourself. You always have to be confident in yourself, and what you can do and what your team can do. I feel like, around the locker room, everyone is confident in each other and has a good feeling going into this series.”
Jonathan Quick has the opportunity to make the myth and the seize the opportunity before him. Kings fan know he can. We know he will.