OTTAWA — Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings and Jimmy Howard of the Detroit Red Wings both sought the advice of Tim Thomas before squaring off in a 2012 NHL All-Star Skills Competition goalie race.
Thomas competed in the inaugural race last season in Raleigh, losing to Cam Ward while taking a spill around a turn. Understandably, his advice to both of this year's competitors: "Don't fall."
Quick sat next to Thomas on the bus over to the arena, and asked him why he wasn't competing in the race this year. "He said he didn't want to be out for the rest of the season with a knee injury." Such are the dangers of racing around the rink in full gear.
As for his race against Howard, Quick said they had a gentleman's agreement … that he may have violated.
"I think Howie might be mad at me. We made a deal that we weren't gonna go too hard. I think it came down to that he tried a little less hard than I did," said Quick.
"An agreement that he violated? No," said Howard. "I was being very cautious. I didn't want to end up like Timmy did last year and blow a tire going around the turn.
"Maybe a little too cautious."
Quick won the race in 16.939 seconds, with Howard crossing at 17.514. No one fell. No one was hurt.
Was there a friendly bet between the two?
"No wager," said Quick. "We both just didn't want to fall. Especially with those tires set up in the middle. You take a digger there and you're wiping out a couple Bridgestones, and you'll be in trouble."