Tag: Rogie Vachon

Jonathan Quick

Kings legend Vachon says Quick will set franchise standard for goalies


When it comes to all-time great Los Angeles Kings goalies, Rogie Vachon usually tops everyone’s list. Now after winning two Stanley Cups in three years, Jonathan Quick might be the new pick and the legendary Kings stopper is just fine with that.

Quick broke Vachon’s team record for wins earlier this season and the 68-year-old said Quick might set a standard that can never be beat in L.A. as Chris Foster of the Los Angeles Times shared.

“If he continues the same way, he is going to put up numbers that might take two centuries for someone to break,” Vachon said.

Quick now has 176 wins with the Kings, five ahead of Vachon. He also broke Vachon’s record for shutouts in a season in 2011-12 when he had 10. Vachon’s best was eight in 1976-77, his final season in L.A. after seven seasons of setting the standard.

As for Quick, Vachon calls him the best athlete on the team for how fast he moves in goal and says he might be one of the best athletes in the NHL. He also credits his mental toughness for allowing him to succeed.

Considering Quick is just 28 years old, he may have a few more big seasons left in him. Maybe Rogie wasn’t too far off with his assessment.

Kings great Rogie Vachon thinks Jonathan Quick deserves the Vezina


The Los Angeles Kings had “The Great One” on their roster, but they haven’t had many great goalies. Rogie Vachon stands out as one of the few, while Jonathan Quick might finally take the torch from him after all these years.* Vachon probably wouldn’t mind if Quick is the Next Great Kings Goalie, because he certainly was generous with praise for the young netminder in this story from Dave Stubbs.

“Quick should win the Vezina this year,” Vachon said. “He’s the real deal. He carried the whole team for months. He’s breaking a lot of my records … and over the next few years I think he’s going to break a lot more.”

Vachon describes Quick as “very strong mentally” but also “extremely fast and has very good technique.” In fact, he goes on to say that he “doesn’t have any” weaknesses and that Quick is even better than strong Vezina candidate Henrik Lundqvist.

“I watched a lot of games this year, many from back east, and I had a good look at the guy in New York,” Vachon said. “But for the team we had this year, for me Quick is the best goalie in the league.”

Of course, as a former Kings goalie, Vachon might be a little biased. Still, it’s interesting to see that Quick has such an emphatic stamp of approval from the best netminder the team’s ever had.

(Before him?)

* – Apologies to anyone who might feel slighted. No apologies to Dan Cloutier.

Is Jonathan Quick now the best goalie in the NHL?

Jonathan Quick

Some of you might not know who Jonathan Quick is just yet. We know how it goes with East Coast bias and how the Los Angeles Kings don’t usually get prime time action on TV, but if you’ve been keeping up, you know for sure who Jonathan Quick is and right now he’s the best goalie in the league.

It might sound like a wild claim to make with guys like Roberto Luongo, Carey Price, Henrik Lundqvist, Pekka Rinne, and Tim Thomas out there but what Quick is doing this so far this season shows that he’s forced his way into the conversation as one of the game’s elite goalies.

Tonight, Quick shutout the Dallas Stars 1-0, his third shutout in a row. He’s the first goalie since Columbus’ Steve Mason did that back in 2008. Quick also set a Kings shutout streak record as he’s kept opponents off the board for the last 188:10 breaking Rogie Vachon’s old team record of 185:55. Quick has played in six games this year and allowed five goals. He won his 100th career game on Thursday night.

Impressive. Most impressive.

Those kinds of skills and those kinds of numbers are stellar and rare and right now, there’s not another goalie playing on his level and he’s doing it seeing plenty of rubber as well. It’s too early to start handing out awards, but should Quick keep this kind of dominating play up, the Kings are going to go very far this season.

If you’re not watching the Kings yet, you might want to start because you could see a lot of them in the postseason.

The Hall of Fame case for Rogie Vachon

Courtesy: LA Kings

On a day when the Hall of Fame is going to open its doors to a few more members, it’s a perfect time to look back at one of the Hall’s more glaring omissions: Rogatien Vachon. Rogie was one of the best goaltenders throughout his career—yet he has been repeatedly passed over since he was eligible for induction in 1987. How he’s not in the Hall of Fame is still a question to people who have been around hockey in California over the last three decades.

Vachon has been one of the faces of the Kings franchise ever since he was traded to Los Angeles at the beginning of the 1971-72 season. Even though there were plenty of sports fans who knew nothing about the Kings in the 1970s, Vachon was a name that transcended hockey in the southern California sports landscape. They may not have known the difference between “double shifting” and a “double down the line,” but “Save by Vachon!” was something all sports fans could associate with Kings hockey.

Some people measure Hall of Fame credentials by looking at a player’s importance during his playing career. He was one of the best goaltenders of his era and to this day one of the best players in Los Angeles Kings history. He was the first player to have his number retired by the Kings—an organization that has only retired five numbers in its entire history. His peers, both teammates and opponents alike, respected him as one of the best netminders when he was at his peak.

Still other people insist that statistics are the only true measure of a Hall of Fame career. Over the course of his career, he had 355 wins, 51 shutouts, a Vezina trophy, and three Stanley Cups. In 7 seasons with the Kings, he racked up 171 wins, 32 shutouts, and a 2.82 goals against average on some pretty bad teams. Vachon himself admitted to Gann Matsuda that it was tough for the first few years with the Kings:

““When I first [joined the Kings], it was pretty rough. We used to go on the road and sometimes, I would give up five goals and play an incredible game, but still lose 5-0.”

“In those days, we gave up a lot of scoring chances because we weren’t as good. Especially the top teams like Boston, Montreal and the New York Rangers—when they came into town, they just blew us away. They spent eighty percent of the game in our zone.”

When he played behind a good defensive corps as he did in the 1976 Canada Cup, he proved to be spectacular. In 7 games, he had 2 shutouts, .940 save percentage, and a 1.39 goals against as he helped lead Team Canada to the Gold medal. He was named to the all-tournament team and MVP for Team Canada despite teammates like Bobby Hull, Denis Potvin, and Bobby Orr.

Former Kings head coach Bob Berry played with Vachon in Los Angeles and understood the importance of their superstar goaltender. When the Kings turned things around in the mid-1970s with some of their best teams, Vachon again was in the middle of it:

“Part of us learning how to win as a team was to keep our goals against down and I think under coach Bob Pulford, we all thought we were doing things well defensively. He brought a lot to it. But that said, it was still Rogie who was the last line of defense, and on most nights, when we would win close games, 3-1 or 2-1, or whatever it happened to be in those days, it was usually him who bailed us out and made big stops.”

“He would keep the ship afloat and we’d finally understand that we’d better get going,” Berry stressed. “It didn’t happen every night, but it happened enough. He taught us how to win.”

He must have been doing something right, because it’s been thirty years since he left the Kings (as a player) and he’s still the franchise leader in wins.

It’s easy to wonder if things would be different if a few more people actually saw him play. During his peak in LA, it was over 1,000 miles to the next closest NHL outpost in Vancouver. The Kings did not attract attention from media in opposing markets, nor did they catch the eye of the national media. If he had put up his statistics with the Canadiens or Rangers throughout his career, there would be no debate—he would have been enshrined twenty years ago. Yes, that was the east-coast bias card that was just dropped.

Regardless, it’s an absolute travesty that Vachon isn’t in the Hall of Fame. Hopefully, the Hall will realize the glaring mistake and rectify their error one day. That is, if they remember he exists.

(Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Kings)