Los Angeles Kings starting goaltender Jonathan Quick returned to the line-up on Saturday where the Kings took on the Vancouver Canucks, gaining a 3-1 victory after a season-high five-game losing streak. Safe to say the team was happy to have him back. Quick stopped 27 out of 28 of the Canucks shots, playing like the former Conn Smythe Trophy winner he is, as if he hadn’t missed 24 games.
Quick was the only Kings player on injured reserve. He hadn’t played or traveled with the team since suffering his grade two groin injury during the overtime of a 3-2 shootout loss at First Niagara Center against the Buffalo Sabres on November 12.
Quick began taking steps to make his return by skating twice at the Toyota Sports Center while the team was in Eastern Canada about three weeks ago. When the team returned he also took some shots during practices. Pierre LeBrun of ESPN tweeted about Quick’s return, “FYI Kings GM Dean Lombardi says Jonathan Quick remains on schedule to return first week of January.”
After that Quick traveled with the team for their four-game road-trip where he was supposed to fly out of St. Louis (Kings final stop) via a weekend trip, and join the Manchester Monarchs to start his rehabilitation process. But there were complications with the travel plans, such as a change of planes, so he traveled back with the team.
On Saturday the Kings traded forward Daniel Carcillo to the New York Rangers for a seventh round 2014 NHL Draft pick, opening up space in the salary cap for young forwards or the possibility of Quick being activated before the game on Saturday against the Canucks. Quick practiced with the team and left the ice with Martin Jones as Ben Scrivens stayed on for extra work. And so it did happen, Quick was activated before the start of the game, making his comeback.
On January 1, it was also announced at the Winter Classic that Quick and Dustin Brown of the Kings are part of the US Men’s Hockey Team for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Quick has played 17 games (one of which is the one he got injured during and is not credited for), 11-5-0, with a 2.27 Goals Against Average, a .909 Save Percentage and one Shutout. This is Quick’s first year playing in his 10-year, 58-million dollar contract.
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