by Patrick Hoffman on 06/08/12 at 12:58 PM ET
While there is no doubt that New York Rangers’ fans love their netminder, Henrik Lundqvist, these fans should know that there is another goaltender out there who they should admire.
Right now, that is Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings. Quick has his hockey club one win away from the team’s first Cup in franchise history and has done so in unbelievable fashion.
Quick’s statistics this postseason speak for themselves. In 18 games, Quick is 15-3 with a 1.39 goals against average, a .948 save percentage and three shutouts.
In Games 1 through 3 in the Stanley Cup Final against the New Jersey Devils, he was splendid in allowing just 2 goals and picking up a shutout. In those games, he stopped 70 of 72 shots and made the big saves when he had to.
While it is one thing to like Quick from a statistical perspective, there is another reason to like him. It turns out, Quick’s idol growing up was none other than former Rangers’ great goaltender Mike Richter.
About the only time he has given a glimpse of what this hoodie-wearing future Conn Smythe Trophy winner is about was the other day when he revealed as a kid growing up he had a poster of New York Rangers goalie Mike Richter hanging in his bedroom.
Quick was eight years old when Richter and the Rangers won the Stanley Cup in 1994. He remembers watching the Game 7 finale in his Connecticut home. He remembers being drawn to Richter because of how he battled, how he seemed to do anything to keep the puck out of the net.
This makes a lot of sense. For starters, Quick is from Milford, CT so he was able to watch plenty of Rangers’ games along with Richter’s great goaltending.
One can also see Richter in the way Quick plays. Quick is incredibly athletic, one of the best goaltenders in the game in going side to side, he competes hard for pucks like Richter used to do and lastly, he has helped keep his team in many games over the last few seasons like Richter did with the Blueshirts.
Rangers’ fans know that they have probably the best goaltender in the game right now in Henrik Lundqvist but one cannot help but admire what a great goaltender Quick is and what he is close to accomplishing for his hockey club, just like Richter did back in 1994.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.