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Kings say Jonathan Quick can't let frustration get the best of him

Coach Darryl Sutter understands why the goalie is upset with the contact he's been absorbing in the playoffs but says it can't become a distraction. Quick is not disciplined by league for verbally abusing referees after Game 3.

May 20, 2013|By Lisa Dillman
  • Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick (32) is unable to block a shot off the stick of San Jose Sharks' Logan Couture (39) in overtime.
Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick (32) is unable to block a shot off the stick… (Josie Lepe / MCT )

There is more than just a little bit of Ron Hextall living in the body of Kings goalie Jonathan Quick.

That is, the once-hot-tempered goalie Ron Hextall, not the current calm corporate Ron Hextall, the Kings' assistant general manager, destined to run an NHL team someday.

Quick waved his stick and verbally went after both referees after the Kings lost, 2-1, in overtime to the Sharks in Game 3 of their Western Conference semifinal series at San Jose on Saturday night. He received a game misconduct for his actions but escaped supplementary discipline from the NHL.

The league said Sunday that Quick would not be fined or suspended. Rob Shick, an officiating manager and supervisor of this series, told The Times, via email: "This matter has been dealt with."

That can often take the form of the league speaking to Kings management and possibly issuing an informal warning.

Or putting Quick on double secret probation.

On a serious note, Kings Coach Darryl Sutter understood Quick's frustration at some of the additional contact coming his way in the crease, in this series as well as in the first round against St. Louis. That didn't mean he endorsed the meltdown.

"I think he's got to handle that," Sutter said. "He can't be frustrated. That's a byproduct of being a great goaltender."

Later, Sutter talked about walking the emotional fine line.

"It's very simple," Sutter said. "That's part of being on a good team and looked on as the best player and looked on as a top goalie That's exactly what they're doing [with contact] and we saw it the last series with two or three of their players.

"We see it all the time. But you have to learn to manage it, because it can't become a distraction to your game. He's fine. He's good today. "

The Quick explosion was not an isolated incident of anger. After a shootout loss at Minnesota in late March, Quick destroyed his stick by smashing it against the post. The video went viral.

Still, that was self-directed.

Kings center Anze Kopitar didn't seem overly surprised by the Game 3 tirade.

"He's a passionate guy," Kopitar said. "Emotions are flying high and it burst up a little bit. He probably crossed the line a little bit. But it just shows the guy cares. You want to have a guy like that in your net, on your team.

"He's a guy — he gets fired up when he's not happy. It is what it is and now we've got to move past that for Game 4."

Sutter suggested that not taking numerous trips to the penalty box might be a start. The Kings have been able to largely contain the Sharks five on five, but San Jose's power play, so lethal against Vancouver, accounted for both goals in Game 3.

"I'm not happy taking that many penalties," Sutter said.

The Kings received three minors in the last 5 minutes 16 seconds of the game — including two in the last 42 seconds. That put the Sharks on a five-on-three advantage in overtime and the Kings nearly escaped that perilous position. But Logan Couture scored off a perfectly executed passing play on the five-on-four, at 1:29 of overtime.

"We're not happy, but we can't do anything about it," Kopitar said. "Again, it's the position that we put ourselves into that is mind-boggling. It's not the way we want to play. Being in that situation, we came close to killing it off. We've said it all along, before the series: You can't give them too many opportunities because they will score and they did."

It comes down to putting more pressure on Sharks goalie Antti Niemi. The Sharks outshot the Kings, 40-27, in Game 3.

"I think we've got to throw more shots at Niemi," Kopitar said. "I don't think we've done a very good job throughout the series with the exception of the last seven minutes in Game 2, where we peppered him because we were desperate. So we've got to play like that right from the start."

lisa.dillman@latimes.com

twitter.com/reallisa

Times staff writer Helene Elliott contributed to this report.

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