May 31, 2013 |
CHICAGO - It wasn't long ago that the Kings' Jonathan Quick had to listen and, presumably, read about all the other great goaltenders in the NHL. Especially from Kings Coach Darryl Sutter. Sutter raved about the All-Star goalie from his Calgary days, Miikka Kiprusoff, and made comparisons last season between Kiprusoff and Quick, suggesting Quick still had to prove his worth over a period of time. Again, last season, he shrewdly engaged in more motivational tactics with Quick, using the Sharks' Antti Niemi as the impetus.
May 31, 2013 |
It is a tale of two former Conn Smythe winners, and center Colin Fraser had a front seat for both performances. In one corner, Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, the most valuable player of last season's playoffs. Then there's the winner from three years ago, center Jonathan Toews, Chicago's captain. Fraser won the Stanley Cup with Chicago in 2010 and the Kings in 2012. The Kings like to talk about how Quick despises giving up goals even in a run-of-the-mill practice. It doesn't matter if he had almost no chance on the play.
May 29, 2013 |
The Blackhawks ruined the Kings' Stanley Cup banner-raising celebration on Jan. 19 at Staples Center, winning that season-opening game, 5-2. Overall, Chicago took two of three games against the Kings, splitting the other two games at the United Center. The Blackhawks won, 3-2, on Feb. 17 and the Kings won the last time the teams met, 5-4, on March 25, with Kings captain Dustin Brown scoring the winning goal with 1:27 remaining. Chicago captain Jonathan Toews was the best player on the ice in the season series, scoring three goals and six points in the three games.
June 28, 2012 |
The Kings had never done a 10-year deal. Not with defenseman Drew Doughty, not with center Anze Kopitar and not even going back to the days of hockey legend Wayne Gretzky. That barrier was broken Thursday with the team's 10-year contract extension with Conn Smythe-winning goalie Jonathan Quick. Those familiar with the deal but not authorized to comment on the details said it was worth $58 million, noting it tapered off in the final three years, making it salary-cap friendly. The extension kicks in after next season when Quick is to make $1.7 million, a bargain for a playoff most valuable player.
June 19, 2012 |
Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell put it best during the long-and-winding Stanley Cup run when he was pondering the race for the Conn Smythe Trophy. "They're thinking about the other big trophy," he said of his teammates. True enough. But Kings goalie Jonathan Quick would get to hold two big trophies — the Stanley Cup and the Conn Smythe, becoming the third American-born winner of the trophy awarded to the player judged most valuable to his team during the playoffs.
June 13, 2012 |
Finally, the Kings have something bigger to celebrate than their 1982 Miracle on Manchester playoff comeback. A lot more to boast about than winning the Smythe Division title in 1991 and the Campbell Conference championship in 1993. Over the last two months they created enough splendid playoff memories to forget about collapses and chaos and illegally curved sticks and shifting blame for everything that went wrong every year no matter how much optimism they carried into any given season.