L.A. Kings’ goalie Jonathan Quick took the blame for coughing up the puck that led directly to Alexander Steen’s overtime winner in a Game 1 of this Western Conference quarter-final against the St. Louis Blues.
With the scored tied 1-1 in Game 2, and only 51 seconds remaining in regulation, Quick let in a softie on a Barret Jackman wrist shot that sent the Kings back to L.A. trailing the Blues two-games-to-none.
Again, Quick accepted responsibility – perhaps more than he should have – by saying, “I gotta stop that. It’s my fault. Two games in a row…I gotta be better.”
He was better Saturday in a pivotal Game 3. A loss, and the defending Stanley Cup champs would be one game away from a first-round elimination, perhaps a sweep.
Quick wasn’t just better. He was perfect.
Quick stopped all 30 shots he faced, and the Kings got their first win of the series by beating the Blues 1-0.
Naturally, Quick’s teammates have been quick to defend him. After all, Quick only allowed four goals combined over the first two games. He gave the Kings a chance to win the opener thanks to his stellar play in regulation time.
“Obviously that’s inane for him to say any of those losses are on him,” Kings’ forward Justin Williams told the L.A. Times.
“But that’s who you want as a goaltender — a goaltender who’s going to battle for you. A guy who wants to stop every puck that comes toward him. That’s what he does. In this series we’ll need him to be at his best because goals are going to be at a premium.”
As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.
Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.
While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.
It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.
One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.
Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.
Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.
Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?
Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.
The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.
The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:
That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.
Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:
Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.
Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.