Kings coach Darryl Sutter’s nutty quote of the day

Kings coach Darryl Sutter had this to say about pulling Jonathan Quick from Wednesday’s loss to the San Jose Sharks and replacing him with backup Martin Jones to start the third period of a game the team trailed 4-0: “I didn’t pull Quick because of his performance. Like I said, I don’t like pulling goalies in the first game of the year, or ever, but at that point in the game, it’s not Jonathan’s deal, it’s Jonesy’s deal.”

FYI: Quick gave up four goals on 27 shots.

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Three things about the Kings loss to the Sharks in their season opener

Here are the first few paragraphs from my game story:

“The Kings raised their second championship banner in three seasons to the Staples Center rafters Wednesday night. Team captain Dustin Brown held the Stanley Cup high overhead as a roaring sellout crowd bellowed like it was June 13 all over again.

“Then somebody had to go and spoil a perfectly good party by dropping a puck onto the ice and starting a new season. Then the San Jose Sharks had to go and stick the puck in the back of Jonathan Quick’s net. Again and again and again and again.

“Tommy Wingels scored two goals and the Sharks earned a very small measure of revenge after last season’s playoff ouster at the hands of the Kings, taking a comprehensive 4-0 victory in the regular-season opening game for both teams.”

Here are three impressions about an uneven opening game:

First, the Kings turned in clunkers after each of their championship banner-raising ceremonies. They have been outscored 9-2 in losses to the Sharks on Wednesday and to the Chicago Blackhawks two seasons ago. So, what’s the answer? Not winning a Stanley Cup? Not celebrating it? Maybe the Kings could have the Lakers come in and talk to them about how to handle the distractions of such a ceremony. Then again, there aren’t many (any?) Lakers left who remember what that experience is like.

Second, the Kings have miles to skate before they can even think about recreating their incredible run to the Cup last spring. It was a long, slow process last season and it will be again in 2014-15. Patience is the order of the next few days and weeks, and maybe even months. Fans, players, coaches and reporters must realize it’s a process.

Third, the Sharks are pretty good. They’ve been humiliated by their playoff loss to the Kings last spring and they have plenty to prove this season. Don’t expect them to fold at every opportunity. Their collapse from a 3-0 series lead in the first round last spring was quite a pratfall, one they’ve been reminded of for, oh, probably every day since April.

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Kings questions and answers (part 4, expanded version)

Will the Kings be healthy enough to lead the playoff race?

Goalie Jonathan Quick and forward Kyle Clifford underwent wrist surgeries and Jarret Stoll had hip surgery during the offseason, signs of the toll a grueling regular season and an extended playoff run can exact on professional athletes. All three are sound and will begin the regular season on schedule. Injuries are always a concern, particularly for a team that relies on its physical play to win games. The Kings appear to have the depth to withstand various routine bumps and bruises in the season.

Luck plays a great role in a team’s success. Good teams avoid injuries, or at the very least they manage to use their depth to patch together a lineup that’s good enough to keep winning. There’s not a big drop-off. Bad teams get injured and there aren’t enough quality players to fill the void. The Kings appear to have plenty of depth, both on their roster in Los Angeles and at their American Hockey League team in Manchester, N.H. Any questions about the organization’s depth should have been answered by the likes of Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli during the playoffs last season.

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Kings coach Darryl Sutter talks about goalie Jonathan Quick’s status

The Kings took their time with goaltender Jonathan Quick after he underwent offseason wrist surgery. Quick didn’t play in the Kings’ first four exhibition games before playing in their final three during a trip to San Jose, Colorado Springs and Las Vegas. He’s expected to be in goal for Wednesday’s season-opener Wednesday against the Sharks.

“I don’t think it was progress,” Kings coach Darryl Sutter said of Quick’s progress from the start of training camp last month. “I think he was good from the start and our plan was exactly what happened. He wanted to play the whole second game in Colorado Springs and I just thought with the (high) altitude and all that, that I was just more concerned with the third period. So, then he was fine with that, and he was good from the start.”

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Kings goalie Jonathan Quick talks about his injury and his workload

There is no timetable for Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick’s exhibition debut, at least not one for public consumption. Quick, coach Darryl Sutter and the team’s medical staff will determine when Quick’s surgically-repaired wrist is sound enough for him to play.

“We’ve got a lot of minds put together trying to figure it out,” Quick said. “We’ll figure it out. We’ve got a little time. Obviously, it’s going to happen in a hurry. I’ll come in and keep working every day and keep getting better like I have been and, hopefully, I can get a couple of games in.”

Quick played only 49 games last season because of a nagging groin injury, well down from a career-high of 72 set during the 2009-10 season. He said he hadn’t thought much about decreasing his workload for the coming season, leaving the decisions up to the coaching staff.

“You love playing games, so you never voluntarily ask for games off,” Quick said. “I think the coaching staff has a good feel for goaltenders and the team and what’s best for them. They run the ship and we just go to work. That’s it.

“They tell me to take a day off, I take a day off. They tell me I’m going, I’m going. You want to be involved. You want to be a part of it. You work so hard all summer to play in those games, you want to try to get in there and be a difference-maker for the team.

“So, you want to be a part of it, obviously. I don’t have a number in my head that I want or anything like that.”

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Weekend links

Typewriter

Here is the best of the best writing on the Kings from the opening weekend of training camp, starting with Los Angeles News Groups columnist Mark Whicker’s look at Stanley Cup playoffs hero Alec Martinez: http://www.dailynews.com/sports/20140920/alec-martinezs-journey-with-los-angeles-kings-becomes-legendary

My look at the moves the Kings’ rivals in the West made during the summer: http://www.dailynews.com/sports/20140919/anaheim-ducks-the-west-bulk-up-to-challenge-los-angeles-kings

Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times takes a look at defenseman Drew Doughty and his goal of winning the Norris Trophy here: http://www.latimes.com/sports/kings/la-sp-kings-drew-doughty-20140920-story.html

Dillman also catches up with captain Dustin Brown here: http://www.latimes.com/sports/kings/la-sp-dustin-brown-kings-20140922-story.html

In the Orange County, er, Los Angeles Register, Rich Hammond previews the Kings’ No. 1 goal in Monday’s split-squad exhibitions with the Arizona Coyotes: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/kings-635851-monday-home.html

 

 

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Kings goalie Jonathan Quick undergoes wrist surgery, out 10 to 12 weeks

Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick underwent wrist surgery Tuesday and could be sidelined for between 10 and 12 weeks, casting doubt on his availability for the start of training camp in September. The Kings’ first exhibition game is scheduled for Sept. 22, a pair of split-squad games against the Arizona (formerly Phoenix) Coyotes. Quick was injured during the Kings’ second-round playoff series against the Ducks. Greg Wyshynski of the Puck Daddy blog first reported the surgery.

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Stanley Cup moments (part 4: Jonathan Quick denies Corey Perry on a penalty shot)

Jonathan Quick’s penalty-shot save on Corey Perry in Game 7 vs. the Ducks, May 16: The Kings took an early 2-0 lead, but Perry was awarded a penalty shot and as the Honda Center crowd roared, it would take only a flick of the wrist for the Ducks to get back into the game. Quick denied Perry, however. The Kings’ Mike Richards scored a little more than a minute later and Game 7 was all but history. Quick wasn’t as sharp as he was during the Kings’ run to the Cup in 2012, but he made some huge saves when called upon in ’14. This was one of the biggest.

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Kings goalie Jonathan Quick has impressed Rangers counterpart Henrik Lundqvist

Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick has a fan in his Rangers counterpart, Henrik Lundqvist. Quick has won the individual battle between the standout goalies, with the Kings holding a commanding 3-0 lead in the series, after a shutout in Game 3.

“He made some unreal saves (Monday),” Lundqvist said Tuesday of Quick, who stopped all 32 shots he faced in Game 3. “I think for us to beat them, obviously, I have to play well. But in the first two games, we’re right there scoring goals. I think the big thing is to have a lot of traffic and get in front of him.

“I think L.A., they’re really good. They have one or two guys going to the net all the time. I think we did it really well in L.A. Come in front, get to loose pucks. That’s something we are going to have to try to do it. But he’s a really good goalie. I’m going to need my best to try to match that.”

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