For a good chunk of his NHL career, Jonathan Quick has been relied upon to play a heavy amount of games every season.
Between 2009-10 and 2015-16, Quick had played between 68 and 72 games in a season on four different occasions. That’s a lot of work for a number one goalie.
Unfortunately for Quick and the Kings, he suffered a serious injury lower-body injury that limited him to just 17 games last year.
With new head coach John Stevens now in charge, the Kings want to make sure that they keep their starting goaltender fresh for the entire campaign.
“In his case, the fact that he’s had those injuries, we certainly have a plan in place to keep him healthy,” Stevens said, per the Los Angeles Times.
“John’s capable of handling a big workload. A lot of it will be depended on the schedule. … He’s proven in the past, he’s capable of a heavy workload. I think that’s something we manage as we move along.”
Four seasons ago, no goaltender played more than 65 games. But three years ago, we saw four goalies suit up in 68 games or more. That dropped down to one goalie two years (that was Quick). Oilers goalie Cam Talbot was the only one to play in more than 68 games last year (he played in 73 contests).
The Kings netminder should be fresh heading into the 2017-18 regular season, as he suited up in three games during the preseason. By the time the Kings open the regular season against Philadelphia on Thursday night, Quick will have had more than a week off.
For those who are wondering, Darcy Kuemper will serve as Quick’s backup goalie to start the season.