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Kings' Jonathan Quick vies for Vezina Trophy for top goaltender

He's a candidate along with New York Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist and the Nashville Predators' Pekka Rinne.

April 25, 2012|By Helene Elliott

Jonathan Quick's stoic manner undoubtedly kept him sane while the Kings gave him precious little scoring support. But surely he let loose and celebrated Wednesday after learning he's a finalist for the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's top goaltender?

"Yeah," Kings teammate Jarret Stoll said. "The opposite of what you just said."

Quick reacted calmly to news that he's vying for the Vezina with Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers and Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators. The winner, chosen by the NHL's 30 general managers, will be announced June 20.

"That's not the trophy that I set out to win nine months ago or whenever. We still have a shot at the other one and that's what we're working on right now," Quick said after the team practiced and prepared to fly to St. Louis for the Saturday opener of its second-round playoff series against the Blues.

"To be put in that category is a tremendous honor. It's something that a lot of hard work was put into and it goes to credit the way these guys played in front of me. Being a goaltender, it's a position that you're more dependent on your teammates than any other position in sports. For your goalie to be put in a category like that, it means these guys are doing a tremendous job, which they've done for me all year."

Quick led the NHL with 10 shutouts, ranked second in goals-against average (1.95), fifth in save percentage (.929) and tied for fifth in wins (35). He gave up one goal or fewer 27 times and two goals or fewer 46 times.

Lundqvist had a 39-18-5 record and became the first NHL goalie to win 30 or more games in each of his first seven seasons. He ranked third in wins, third in shutouts (eight), fourth in goals-against average (1.97), and fourth in save percentage (.930).

Rinne led the NHL in shots faced (2,153), saves (1,987) and wins (43). He had a 2.39 goals-against average, .923 save percentage and five shutouts.

Although Quick didn't crack a smile Wednesday, his teammates were happy for him.

"He's saved our bacon more than once," center Colin Fraser said. "He's been our best player all year, consistently, and very deserving of it."

Miller, Fox on job

Kings TV announcers Bob Miller and Jim Fox won't call games in the second round, but they'll be involved by providing postgame coverage for Fox Sports West and Prime Ticket throughout the series. Jim Fox said he will do brief game-day previews for the NHL Network and NHL.com and conduct live chats on LAKings.com.

helene.elliott@latimes.com

twitter.com/helenenothelen

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