Monday, October 24, 2011
KING QUICK TO 100
Despite a staggering start for Price and his Canadiens, there is a widespread perception in hockey (a view which I share) that Price, the 5th pick in the 2005 NHL amateur draft, is a bonafide "franchise goaltender." Last year Price enhanced that image with 38 wins, a 2.33 GAA and .923 Save pct. over 71 games.
Quick, a 3rd round selection in the same draft class, has yet to be tabbed with the same "franchise" label even though, last year, he nearly matched Price's win total in 62 games. Remarkably, Quick has reached 100 NHL wins 28 games quicker than Price while recording a better career GAA and 5 more shutouts.
There are a few factors that skew support to Price. The Canadiens netminder toils under the glare of one hockey's biggest media spotlights. Price had the publicity of his top 5 draft selection and has 26 games of Stanley Cup playoff exposure. Quick, by toiling on the west coast, can be easily overlooked by the eastern media. His playoff resume is restricted to 12 games over the past two springs. (although Price has yet to conjure up Patrick Roy postseason numbers with an 8-15 career mark.)
Prior to the start of the season our GGSB blog solicited some high profile experts to forecast this year's Stanley Cup chase. One respected media pundit highlighted the Kings potential but expressed concerns about Quick. That opinion in hockey circles is not uncommon.
In light of Quick's torried start, perhaps we should reevaluate the talents of the Kings lastest version of Rogie Vachon or Kelly Hrudey. As should the hockey people who made the initial evaluation of Quick and seeded him behind goaltenders Tyler Plante, Jeff Frazee, Pier Olivier Pelletier and Kristofer Westblom, as well as NHLers Tukka Rask and Ondrej Pavelec, and 67 spots after Carey Price in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.