2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Two

Quick: ‘It’s not about statistics’ in the playoffs


More than a few people believe that the Los Angeles Kings managed to get this far despite Jonathan Quick, rather than because of his goaltending. After a 5-4 double-overtime win in Game 2, Quick clearly seemed to dismiss his critics, as LA Kings Insider reports.

“When you get to something like this, it’s not about statistics – it’s not about statistics any time of the year to be honest – but I think those are just kind of something that people that don’t really know the game, it gives them something to judge off of,” Quick said. “You’re going to get those high scoring games, you’re going to get low scoring games. It’s a playoff series.”

One cannot help but wonder if Quick felt the same way about statistics during his lights-out run to a 2012 Stanley Cup victory and the Conn Smythe that came with it. There’s a solid chance voters kept an eye on the numbers he put up.

Whether you look at the big picture (.906 save percentage in the postseason) or recent starts (he’s allowed 4+ goals in four of his last five games and in eight playoff games overall in 2014), things have been rocky for the 28-year-old netminder. At least individually.

Again, Quick doesn’t seem all that bothered by such factors, especially since he’s two wins away from winning his second Stanley Cup ring.

To no surprise, his teammates have his back, too.

Stats-leaning onlookers roll their eyes at “making the big save” or “timely saves,” yet that’s likely what Quick’s defenders would point to. A great example is Quick finding a way to stop a Brad Richards one-timer, a moment that’s actually captured in this post’s main image.

Feel free to pick through the goals he allowed and saves he made in the Game 2 highlight reel … even if Quick doesn’t seem to care what his critics think.


PHT Morning Skate: Beat writers survey predicts Ducks will win Cup

Corey Perry, Frederik Andersen
AP Photo
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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

In a survey of 29 beat writers, the Anaheim Ducks emerged as the clear favorite to win the Stanley Cup. If you’ll recall, they have that in common with the EA Sports simulation. (Boston Globe)

Alex Ovechkin would pick an Olympic hit against Jaromir Jagr as the biggest check of his life. (Russian Machine Never Breaks)

Here are the highlights from Minnesota’s 5-4 victory over Colorado:

The Montreal Canadiens seem committed to using Alex Galchenyuk as a center throughout the 2015-16 campaign. (The Canadian Press)

The NHL recently enlisted its players to read off some not so mean tweets. (USA Today)

Bills coach Rex Ryan talked about the Sabres in Thursday’s press conference. (NHL.com)

Frederik Andersen may have the Anaheim Ducks’ starting job for now, but with John Gibson still a big part of their plans, Andersen has to keep proving himself. (Orange County Register)

Niemi blanks Pens, notches two assists in Stars debut

Antti Niemi, Sidney Crosby, Patric Hornqvist

DALLAS (AP) — Antti Niemi recorded his 33rd career shutout and assisted on two goals in his Dallas debut, as the Stars beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-0 on Thursday night in the season opener for both.

Ales Hemsky had a power-play goal and an assist.

Rookie Matthias Janmark scored on his first shot on his first shift in an NHL game to make it 1-0. The Stars acquired Niemi and Janmark in trades earlier this year.

Dallas scored on two of five power plays. Jamie Benn, the NHL’s leading scorer last season, had a power-play goal in the third period.

Niemi made 37 saves to improve his career record against the Penguins to 5-1-1. He withstood a flurry in the final minute after Pittsburgh pulled goalie Marc-Andre Fleury for an extra skater.

Fleury had 21 saves.

The Stars are 4-0-1 in their last five home games against Pittsburgh, and have won three in a row overall.

Janmark skated down the slot, took a pass from Hemsky and shot between Fleury’s legs at 1:39 of the first.

The Penguins dominated the latter half of the period, but couldn’t score. Niemi’s best stop was a reaching glove save of Rod Scuderi’s drive from the blue line with less than 3 minutes remaining. Pittsburgh outshot the Stars 10-4 in the first.

Hemsky scored at 5:42 of the second on Dallas’ first power play. His shot from the top of the right faceoff circle went in over Fleury’s right shoulder.

The Penguins again had an advantage in shots, 13-11. Pittsburgh had chances in close, but Niemi turned those away. Midway through the second, John Klingberg cleared away a loose puck from in front of the net.

Seven seconds into the Stars’ fourth power play of the third period, Jamie Benn tipped in Jason Spezza‘s shot from the right point.

NOTES: Dallas acquired Janmark as part of a March trade that sent Erik Cole to Detroit. The rookie had been playing in the Swedish Hockey League. . San Jose traded Niemi’s rights to the Stars in June for a seventh-round draft pick. Also making their Dallas debuts were LW Patrick Sharp and D Johnny Oduya, teammates with Chicago’s Stanley Cup champions last season. . In his first game for the Penguins, Phil Kessel played in his 447th straight game. . Pittsburgh was 0 for 3 on the power play.