Jonathan Quick (via NHL/YouTube)
Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon and Matt Duchene called Jonathan Quick’s save the best stop they’ve ever seen, and that’s hard to argue. After Avalanche winger Jarome Iginla batted a puck on net, the Kings netminder spun and batted a puck out of mid-air to keep it out of his net.
Jonathan Quick doesn’t rank top 10 in either save percentage or goals-against average, but there are times when he’s manning the net for the Los Angeles Kings that Quick makes a save so spectacular it’s confounding anyone is ever able to get a puck past him.
Quick turned in one of those spectacular efforts Wednesday evening against the Colorado Avalanche with what was “best save” both Nathan MacKinnon and Matt Duchene said they had ever seen, according to NBCSN’s Pierre McGuire.
In the third period, the Kings held a 3-2 lead when they turned the puck over in their own zone. MacKinnon was the first to the puck and he fired a shot high blocker, which Quick pushed away and into the air where it was batted by Colorado’s Jarome Iginla towards the net. Quick, with a split-second reaction time, swung his stick and batted the puck over his own head to send it out of harm’s way before it could get any closer to crossing the goal line:
On your first watch of that video, look at Quick’s save. Then watch it again and pay attention to Duchene on the side of the net opposite where Quick is making the save. Duchene’s expression tells you how good and how unexpected Quick’s save was.
Even with the jaw-dropping stop, Quick’s efforts Wednesday weren’t enough for the Kings to pull out a victory. He stopped only 15 of 19 shots on goal and the Avalanche fired two pucks past Quick in the final frame to earn a 4-3 victory over the Kings heading into the all-star break.
The loss doesn’t hurt the Kings too much — Los Angeles is still atop the Pacific Division by seven points — but the win sure helped the Avalanche. Colorado now sits in the top wild-card spot in the Western Conference.