Jonathan Quick skated and faced shots for the third consecutive day Wednesday at the Kings’ El Segundo practice facility. He moved another step closer to returning to the lineup after suffering a groin strain in a Nov. 12 game against the Buffalo Sabres.
Exactly when and where the Kings’ goaltender makes his return is anyone’s guess, however. Quick didn’t speak to reporters after the team held an optional practice. Coach Darryl Sutter said he couldn’t envision Quick joining the Kings for their post-Christmas trip.
“No, until he’s full practice …” Sutter said, his voice trailing off after he was asked about the possibility Quick might come along for the ride. “I thought he would be closer than he was. We’ll just keep going, that’s all. … He’s got a long ways to go.”
The idea is to get Quick back to full speed from his injury and keep him healthy and in the lineup rather than risk rushing him back into the lineup and then see him suffer a relapse and then miss more games. If it takes longer than originally expected, then so be it.
“He looks fantastic,” Kings goalie coach Bill Ranford said. “He’s getting stronger every day. We’ve just got to make sure he’s 100 percent. It makes no sense for him to come back for one game and then miss 10. I think the message down the pipeline is when he’s ready, he’s ready for the long haul.”