Jonathan Quick has stopped 69 of the 72 shots Anaheim’s fired on net thus far, good for a .952 save percentage.
In order for that last number to fall, the Ducks say they’ll have to try something different.
“He’s seeing a lot of pucks. We need to get in his eyes, get in his head a bit,” forward Patrick Maroon said, per the L.A. Times. “We need to crash and bang, go to the net. We need all 20 of us. It’s what we’ve been doing all year. I think we have the character to do that.”
Anaheim, down 0-2 in its second-round series with Los Angeles after dropping both home games at the Honda Center, is a desperate team heading into Staples on Thursday. Game 3 is a virtual must-win and, to get it, the Ducks might turn to a strategy employed by the Sharks in Round 1 — jostling Quick whenever possible.
Mike Brown was the main instigator in the early part of the series, twice sending Kings players into Quick in the opening two games.
For the second straight game, Brown shoved a Kings player into Jonathan Quick, this time sending Tyler Toffoli flying into the crease in the first period.
“That’s the way I have to play. I didn’t think he was next to the goalie,” Brown said of the play. “I think Quick just fell back. Nothing intentional. I obviously want to get in and kind of rattle him, but it was nothing intentional. Just playing the hockey game.”
And here’s the second, the aforementioned Toffoli shove:
Getting in Quick’s kitchen — or, at least attempting to — was San Jose’s M.O. throughout the series, and you can certainly question the strategy given the Sharks underwent one of the biggest collapses in Stanley Cup playoff history.
What’s interesting to note is how Quick responded. He seemed to get sharper as the series went along and actually began physically responding to the bumps and jostling, most notably versus Joe Thornton in Game 6:
Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf didn’t specifically call for his teammates to get in Quick’s head, but did acknowledge more traffic in front of goal was needed.
“We’ve got to get bodies in front of him,” Getzlaf said, per the Los Angeles Daily News. “Last game, I didn’t think we did as good a job as Game 1. (Monday) night, he saw a lot of the pucks and there wasn’t that many opportunities after that.
“If he sees the puck, he’s going to catch it nine times out of 10.”