Los Angeles Kings: After Three Straight Shutouts, Is Jonathan Quick Elite?

Michael StuartCorrespondent IOctober 23, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 18:  Jonathan Quick #32 of the Los Angeles Kings stops a shoot in against the St. Louis Blues at Staples Center on October 18, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

On Saturday night, the Los Angeles Kings took on the Dallas Stars in what was a battle of the two top teams in the Pacific Division.

Coming into Saturday's game, Jonathan Quick had put up two straight shutouts for the Kings. Not to underestimate the kid, but to assume that he would put up a third straight was going way out on a limb. 

Against Dallas, he didn't disappoint. The high-flying Stars were unable to put anything by Quick.  Other than Michael Ryder hitting the post, Quick stopped everything in sight.

There isn't a fan in Los Angeles who will say that Quick isn't a streaky goaltender. He can go from letting in incredibly weak goals to lighting the world on fire with strong play. He is doing the latter right now.

This begs the question: Is Jonathan Quick one of the elite goaltenders in the National Hockey League?

When you think of elite goaltenders you think of Ryan Miller in Buffalo, Ilya Bryzgalov in Philadelphia, Jonas Hiller in Anaheim and a few other guys who stand above the rest. 

There's no doubt that Quick has talent. He has put up a couple of solid seasons for the Kings.  However, can we say that he has taken the next step into the elite realm? 

Even as a Los Angeles Kings fanatic, I believe it's too early to say. Sure, Quick is off to a great start. However, he has been known to start quickly, no pun intended, then fade as the season goes on. 

That being said, if Terry Murray can effectively use Jonathan Bernier this season, fans could see Quick put up some absolutely spectacular numbers. 

In two seasons as the Kings' full-time starter, Quick has put up solid and respectable numbers that rival some of the top netminders in the league. 

That being said, I don't believe that we can call him elite yet. 

If Quick can effectively show that he can keep up this stellar play to a reasonable degree, we can re-examine this question at the end of the season (hopefully after a lengthy playoff run). 

So, in conclusion, I'd like to ask this question to fans who support the Los Angeles Kings with passion: Do you believe that Jonathan Quick is an elite goaltender in the National Hockey League?


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