Jonathan Quick will Miss All-Star Game
This was the third time that Quick had been voted into the All-Star Game, and he is currently in the midst of one of the best seasons of his career.
Quick was limited to just 17 games between the pipes last season, so any news of an injury will naturally raise some concerns.
Quick has been playing poorly as of late, and perhaps this injury explains some of those struggles. He has lost six of his previous seven games and has a save percentage above .905 in just two of those seven games. Quick was pulled from the January 23 game against the Vancouver Canucks after surrendering five goals on 19 shots in under 25 minutes of action.
League rules state that if a player named to the All-Star Game declines to participate, they get suspended for one regular season game. The Kings play the Dallas Stars on January 30, so the Kings will be without Quick’s services for their first game after All-Star weekend.
Kuemper has served as a great backup this season for the Kings, so any brief mandated absence for Quick is nothing to be overly concerned about regarding team performance.
Replacement Named for Quick on Pacific Division All-Star Roster
It now appears that Mike Smith will be the replacement for Quick on the All-Star roster.
The Kings had multiple representatives, so their quota for the roster will be filled even without Quick attending.
All other Pacific Division teams have met their player quota, so it was simply about replacing Quick with the goaltender who has the best stats of any goalie left off the original roster.
Despite his relatively sparse playing time this season due to his concussion, Marc-Andre Fleury was the goaltender originally selected alongside Quick.
Fleury leads the league in save percentage and goals-against average, so he certainly has the pure numbers to warrant his selection. Besides Fleury, Smith has the highest save percentage of any goaltender in the Pacific Division.
Among goaltenders in the division who have played at least 25 games, Smith has the lowest goals-against average. Fleury and Aaron Dell have lower goals against averages than Smith but have each played in fewer than 25 games so far this season.
No Pacific Division goaltender has more wins than Smith. He has impressive statistics as well as ample appearances to make him well deserving of the nod.
Dell could have conceivably gotten the spot instead. He has played more games in net than the already-named Fleury and has a lower goals-against average than Smith.
The key distinction is that Dell was not pencilled in to be his team’s starter at the beginning to the year like Fleury was, and Fleury’s lack of games is due to injury instead of his position on the depth chart.
The decision to go with Smith was the right one, though. He has the wins and a save percentage to justify his inclusion on the team.
Going forward in LA
As for the Kings, hopefully, this Quick injury isn’t a huge deal. It doesn’t sound like it, but with his recent injury history, any type of ailment is worrisome to an extent.
It’s too bad that Quick isn’t going to be playing in the All-Star Game, but his long-term health is more important. The Kings will need him healthy for a playoff run.
Main Photo: SAN JOSE, CA – OCTOBER 12: Jonathan Quick #32 of the Los Angeles Kings defends the net against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on October 12, 2016 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Rocky W. Widner/NHL/Getty Images)