If the Los Angeles Kings want to get back on track – and John Stevens wants to keep his job safe? – they’ll need to do it without Jonathan Quick.
At least, they won’t have Quick in net for quite a while. The Kings announced that Quick is out indefinitely after undergoing a surgical procedure to “repair a torn meniscus in his knee.”
Quick’s potential timelines are fluid, as LA Kings Insider’s Jon Rosen discusses:
“Injuries do happen and not sure there’s anything in particular you can point to in this situation,” Stevens said.
“I think he’s done a good job of really staying on top of everything, his preventative maintenance, his daily routines, so these things happen sometimes and you have to deal with them.”
The Kings ended a six-game losing streak on Sunday, beating the New York Rangers 4-3. Even so, it’s been a grim 3-7-1 start for a team that (justifiably or not), came into 2018-19 with fairly high hopes.
Things could really come to a head soon for the Kings with Quick out. Sunday’s game against the Rangers began a seven-game homestand, so there’s an opportunity to get back into things if the Kings can make the most of the next six games. Conversely, low moments can feel that much lower when you’re languishing in front of home fans. Those are the types of stretches that, well, get coaches fired.
Rosen reports that a goalie trade is unlikely, which means that it’s likely down to Jack Campbell and Peter Budaj.
One cannot help but wonder that combining this tough start with this bad news might motivate management to divest themselves from this specific season. Could this be the time to “tank” and try to build at least a bit for the future, even with the increasingly frightening term locked up in an aging core of Drew Doughty, Anze Kopitar, and Quick? The Kings might not have a ton of room to maneuver in that regard, yet it’s at least a painful discussion management should have.
MORE: Your 2018-19 NHL on NBC TV schedule
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.