Quick Proving Naysayers Wrong on Broadway

Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

Going into the regular season, myself and many New York Rangers fans alike were worried about goaltender Jonathan Quick.

Quick, 37, was coming off a preseason in which he did not play very well. Yes, the games obviously did not matter or anything like that, but the fact that he looked uncomfortable and was not stopping a lot of pucks thrown his way was alarming.

What was also a bit worrisome was the fact that based on the way he played last season, it looked like his skills between the pipes were in serious decline. With the Los Angeles Kings and Vegas Golden Knights last season, he had the following splits:

– Kings: 11-13-0-4 with a 3.50 goals-against average, a .876 save percentage, and one shutout
– Golden Knights: 5-2-0-2 with a 3.13 goals-against average, a .901 save percentage, and one shutout

Based on the above statistics and the way he played in the preseason, it was easy to see why fans were worried about playing Quick when games started to matter. Heck, I was worried that All-Star and franchise goaltender Igor Shesterkin would have to play well over 60 games this season.

Do not look now, but it appears that Quick has silenced a lot of his critics with his fine play between the pipes to start the season. As of this writing (Wednesday, November 8), Quick is 3-0-0-1 with a 1.77 goals-against average, a .935 save percentage, and one shutout.

In looking at the league’s top goaltenders this season, Quick’s name is certainly more than present when it comes to his statistics. He currently has the league’s third-best goals-against average (1.77) and sixth-best save percentage (.935).

Quick has brought a lot to this team in the early going. For starters, he has been consistent when given the net.

He has come in and provided the Blueshirts with above-average goaltending and has given them a chance to win every game he has started so far. He has come up with the big saves when the team has needed them and has done a good job of slowing things down when his club is getting outplayed on a shift or two.

A great example of his consistent play came in his team’s 3-0 win over the Edmonton Oilers back on Thursday night, October 26th. In his 29-save shutout performance, he made just about every save look easy and came up big when he needed to, which is something that head coach Peter Laviolette acknowledged to New York Post Rangers’ beat writer Mollie Walker after the game.

“Jonathan played really well,” head coach Peter Laviolette said. “It was probably noise about our second period, but there were a lot of saves that he had to make in the second period that were really big. It was a really great performance by him. I think it was just good to come back and play a game that we were happier with the way we played.”

Secondly, Quick provides a veteran presence when he is out on the ice. This is his 16th year in the league and in that span, he has seen it all, done it all, won two Stanley Cups, was a Conn Smythe Trophy winner as the league’s most valuable player during the 2012 postseason, and is second all-time among U.S. born goaltenders in wins (378).

Because of all that, he knows how to handle every situation that is thrown at him. Even with the unfortunate injuries to Adam Fox and Filip Chytil, nothing has phased Quick so far despite playing in a market that expects to win now, as he told Walker the following after his shutout win over the Oilers a few weeks ago:

“You know what, it’s a game, there’s going to be a lot of positives and negatives every game,” he said. “So no matter what the outcome is, you’re looking to get better at what you did wrong and build off what you did right. We’ll obviously watch video and continue to work.”

Lastly, Quick has come in and been a key contributor in the early going for this hockey club. He played well in his games during the team’s five-game road trip and was a big reason why the Rangers were able to get a point in their 5-4 shootout loss to the Minnesota Wild back on Saturday, November 4th.

With Quick in goal, there has been no dropoff in play between the pipes. Last season, Shesterkin’s backup, Jaroslav Halak, was a liability at the beginning of the season as he lost a few games and did not look good doing so.

It has been the opposite with Quick so far. His strong play has allowed Shesterkin to heal whatever it is that is currently ailing him.

I know it is early, but it is nice to know that with Quick playing so well to start the season, the Rangers have put themselves in a good position not only in the standings but also in allowing them to be smart using Shesterkin moving forward, which will be beneficial for all involved.

In this episode, we discuss the variety of ways this offseason can go, Laf vs Stutzle and Q/A Mailbag.How to support us and our sponsors:Columbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITRThanks for listening! Please rate and review our show on your favorite listening platform. Check out our partner's website at www.insidetherink.com for all your latest hockey news.
  1. Many Directions, One Goal
  2. A Heartbreaking End, Offseason Begins
  3. Game 5 Recap : Guest Joe Fortunato
  4. Game 4 Recap : Breakout Breakdown
  5. It's Not Worth Winning if You Can't Win-berg

Patrick Hoffman

Patrick covers the NHL for Inside The Rink. He has previously covered the league for The Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave, WTP Sports, Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.

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