Jonathan Quick deflects a San Jose shot during the Kings' 3-0 victory… (Harry How / Getty Images )
San Jose Sharks Coach Todd McLellan sounded less than gracious Thursday when asked about the performance of Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick in the Sharks’ 3-0 loss at Staples Center.
Quick stopped 24 shots as the Kings took a 3-2 edge in the teams’ Western Conference semifinal. He leads all playoff goaltenders with a 1.50 goals-against average, .948 save percentage and three shutouts. But McLellan didn’t seem impressed by Quick's work.
“I didn't think we tested him a lot tonight," McLellan said. “There were a number of goalies in the league that could have performed that way tonight.”
The San Jose Mercury News interpreted that as McLellan’s way of saying his own team didn’t muster a great effort on offense, but it sounded as if McLellan was downplaying Quick’s effort.
Quick’s teammates came to his defense Friday.
“He’s awesome. He’s our MVP. He’s our best player,” forward Trevor Lewis said of Quick. “He probably makes it look easy out there, but he does a lot for us and he’s been awesome.”
Defenseman Rob Scuderi viewed McLellan’s comment in a positive light.
“I guess I would take it as a compliment to the team defense that we played,” he said. “We didn’t give them a lot of opportunities like we had in the past few games and we were able to keep them to the outside, and with the talent they have, it’s not easy.
“If we can make it an easier night for Quickie after some of the saves he had to make in Games 1, 2, 3 and 4, that’s a good thing for us and for him.”
Coach Darryl Sutter wouldn’t be baited into a verbal exchange.
“We’ve seen him do it through the course of the season. He had his struggles early and he’s been better the last two months,” Sutter said of Quick. “Teams that are still playing — it’s a fact — have outstanding goaltending.”
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