Why Jonathan Quick Is a Vezina Candidate

Gary LlewellinCorrespondent IDecember 14, 2011

There have been very few bright spots in the LA Kings’ disappointing start to the 2011-2012 season.

The team that was supposed to contend for the Stanley Cup now sits at 12th in their conference and has lost five straight games.

The players cannot score, the coach has been fired, but if there was one area that has not been a disappointment, it is the play of Jonathan Quick.

As bad as things have been for the Kings, if not for Jonathan Quick, things would be much worse.

Coming off two straight seasons with more than 30 wins, Quick has picked up where he left off with a fine start to the new campaign.

A .929 save percentage and 2.14 goals-against-average are certainly Vezina-worthy numbers.

The problem is wins are an important stat when it comes to handing out the Vezina, so if the skaters in front of him do not figure things out soon, his efforts will be for naught. Quick sits in the Top 10 of every major stat category except for wins.

At 25, Quick has matured into an elite goaltender in the NHL and it is about time he got some credit for his hard work.

The Vezina Trophy is handed out at the end of every season to the best goaltender in the league. The winner will be presented the award sometime in June at the awards ceremony held in Las Vegas.

Tim Thomas won it last year and looks to be a candidate for it again this year, as he has helped the Boston Bruins post a solid record throughout the first third of the season.

Quick will also have to beat out goaltenders Pekka Rinne, Marc-Andre Fleury and Henrik Lundqvist, all of whom are having fine seasons with their respective clubs.

Quick will have to continue to put up his current numbers over the rest of the season to contend for the award, but with his work ethic and confidence in the crease, there is no reason he could not do so.

He is tied for the league lead in shutouts with four and is on pace to record 11 on the season.

His ability to move across his crease is among the best in the game.

There are not that many teams in this league that rely on their goaltender as much as the Kings do.

He has bailed out his team on many nights and with the Kings’ skaters inability to score, has been the reason they are not buried even worse in the standings.

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