2012 Quick was nigh unbeatable. But 2014 Quick has been, uh, notably less nigh, and as a result, so have his Kings. Suddenly, series that ended in 4 or 5 games two years have gone the distance this postseason.
But with the Kings' Game 3 win over the Rangers, the Stanley Cup Final looks to be a short one. And unsurprisingly, as the Kings remember how to close out a team in short order, Quick is remembering how to do what he did two playoffs ago. The Kings' netminder was perfect in Game 3, seeing everything (as the photo above attests), and stopping all 32 shots he faced for his first shutout since Game 5 of Round 1 versus the San Jose Sharks.
And this wasn't some breezy, little-effort shutout. The desperate Rangers tried Quick from everywhere, putting several shots at the LA goal that looked destined for the back of the net. But Quick was downright wizardly -- Gandalfian, even, in his insistence that pucks shall not pass. Here's a rundown of some of his best saves:
Mats Zuccarello was robbed in the first period, fishing a puck out from between his legs and attempting to tuck it short side, only to have Quick somehow get a paddle on it. Here it is from perspective of the net cam:
Let's go overheard for another look at that one:
Zuccarello had countless chances in this game. He couldn't beat Quick. Here's Quick stopping two great shots in the same sequence:
Zuccarello will be dreaming of that one. What's the Norwegian word for nightmare?
Chris Kreider got a breakaway right off the third period faceoff. Think of how that would have changed the dynamic of the game:
Instead, the song remained the same.
Derick Brassard had a golden opportunity to beat Quick in the second period, only to have it somehow deflect off the shaft of Quick's stick. You can't get much closer than that:
I'm just talking 'bout shaft.
At the tail end of that clip, you see the first time Quick robbed Brassard. Here's another look at that:
Yikes. He's also Jonathan Flexible, clearly.
Alain Vigneault summed up the Rangers' Game 3 problem in just two words: "Couldn't score." But he probably could have been even shorter than that. In a word: Quick.