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Kings still believe in Jonathan Quick

The goalie, who was the most valuable player in the Kings' Stanley Cup run last season, is ranked 24th in the NHL in goals-against average and 41st in save percentage.

April 05, 2013|By Helene Elliott, Los Angeles Times
  • Kings goalie Jonathan Quick (32) pokes the puck away with his stick.
Kings goalie Jonathan Quick (32) pokes the puck away with his stick. (Tom Gannam / Associated…)

Jonathan Quick was the first goalie to leave the ice Friday after practice at El Segundo, generally the right of the next game's starter. It was mildly surprising, considering that Jonathan Bernier had shut out Minnesota on Thursday, but to Coach Darryl Sutter — who doesn't disclose his starter — it made perfect sense.

"We trust them both. We have to do it that way," Sutter said. "With 11 games left we want them both to be consistent and we'll definitely need them both."

Through Thursday's games Bernier ranked second in the NHL in goals-against average (1.77), and fifth in save percentage (.927). Quick, the most valuable player in the Kings' Stanley Cup run last season, ranked 24th in goals-against average (2.54) and 41st in save percentage (.896).

"The problem with everything is he set a very high standard for himself last year. And that's the reality of it," goaltending coach Bill Ranford said of Quick. "When you have a season like that, you've risen the bar and it's not an easy thing to maintain.

"It's a little bit of a gut-check time. He realizes he's got to elevate his game another level."

Ranford also said Quick is fine physically after undergoing back surgery last summer.

"Mentally, it's just been a grind for him this year," Ranford said. "With the surgery, your whole routine of what you do to prepare for the season is out the door. You go probably five full months, six, without a serious practice, so the way he has prepared in the past was out the door, and I think it's worn on him.

"And the schedule hasn't allowed for a lot of maintenance days, and I think that's been tough too. So you're trying to fix things not only physically but mentally in a very tiny window."

Forbort signs

University of North Dakota defenseman Derek Forbort, chosen 15th by the Kings in the 2010 entry draft, signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Kings. He's due to report to Manchester (N.H.) of the American Hockey League.

Today

VS. EDMONTON

When: 1 p.m.

Where: Staples Center.

On the air: TV: FS West; Radio: 1150.

Record vs. Oilers: 1-0-1.

Etc. Edmonton's top line of Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins totaled 32 points during a five-game winning streak that ended Thursday in a 4-0 loss to Vancouver.

helene.elliott@latimes.com

twitter.com/helenenothelen

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