Jonathan Quick will start in goal for Team USA when the Americans take on Team Canada in their first World Cup exhibition game Friday in Columbus.
Head coach John Tortorella told reporters today that Quick would play half the game, or maybe two periods, and then would be replaced by backup Ben Bishop. Tortorella added that Quick getting the start did not necessarily mean that he would be the starter when the tournament gets underway for real on Saturday, Sep. 17.
The Americans meet Canada again in pre-tournament play on Saturday in Ottawa.
Team USA’s third goalie is Cory Schneider.
Quick has won two Stanley Cups for the Los Angeles Kings, so it will be no real surprise if he does, indeed, start for Team USA when the tournament begins. He was the Americans’ No. 1 in Sochi during the 2014 Winter Olympics, where he famously ripped his team’s effort after the bronze-medal game, a 5-0 loss to Finland.
But Quick will still have to prove he’s sharp in exhibition play, because Bishop and Schneider are no slouches. The former was a Vezina finalist last season and actually finished with more votes than Quick, also a finalist. The latter may be lacking in big-game experience (he was behind Roberto Luongo in Vancouver and the Devils haven’t been a playoff team while he’s been in New Jersey), but he has a career .925 save percentage in the NHL, higher than both Quick’s (.916) and Bishop’s (.920).
“You look at our goalies, they’re all world-class goalies,” said American forward Ryan Kesler. “There are a lot in this tournament, but I think we’ve got three of the best.”