Jonathan Quick was a very good goalie coming into the 2011-12 season, perhaps even one of the better goalies in the NHL.
But with a Stanley Cup championship now on his resume after a dominant postseason run, it's safe to say Quick is one of a few elite goalies in the NHL—some might argue he's the best netminder, period— and a true star in the NHL.
Prior to this season, Quick put up solid regular-season numbers but wasn't strong in the postseason, posting a 3.50 goals-against average and .884 save percentage in the 2009-10 postseason and a 3.16 goals-against average and .913 save percentage in 2010-11.
Perhaps Kings fans wondered if the same would be the case this season. Quick posted incredible numbers in 2011-12, finishing 35-21-13 with 10 shutouts, a 1.95 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage, the latter three marks all career bests.
It was no surprise he was named a finalist for the Vezina Trophy.
But it all would have been moot if Quick didn't play well in the playoffs. Instead of folding, Quick actually improved in the postseason, leading the eighth-seeded Kings on a remarkable run to the Stanley Cup.
He was 16-4 in the postseason with a 1.41 goals-against average, .946 save percentage and three shutouts. In 10 of the Kings' 16 wins, he held opponents to one goal or less. In all, he saved 509 of the 538 shots sent his way, earning himself the Conn Smythe Trophy.
Now it is safe to say Quick is a true star. On the biggest stage, Quick was unquestionably the finest player in the postseason, adding the most important adjective in all of sports to his already impressive resume of statistics:
Jonathan Quick was clutch in 2011-12, from the beginning of the season to Game 6 of the Stanley Cup playoffs. He's no longer just a very good goalie in the NHL or a man whose legacy is only about stats.
He's a champion now, and one of the NHL's brightest stars. In the 2011-12 season, Quick ascended to the realm of the game's elite.
Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets really wanted to have another.