A season like this is tough to watch, and we all find ourselves being pretty hard on the Los Angeles Kings as they struggle to right the ship. For the rest of November, we’ll be taking some time each day to share why we’re thankful for each player on the team (and some Kings of years past). If you’d like to share your love for a Kings player, past or present, check out our call for submissions.
Goalie buddies and now, torn meniscus buddies!
The story of Jack Campbell’s journey to the NHL has been well chronicled already. A first round pick by the Dallas Stars in 2010, Campbell struggled there, spending time in the ECHL, and at one point trying desperately to model his game after successful goaltenders that his playing style was just all mixed up.
Enter the Kings, who took a chance on the young netminder. Under the watchful eye of Dusty Imoo, Campbell revitalized his career with the Ontario Reign, eventually earning the backup spot behind Jonathan Quick.
Playing behind a shaky Kings team perhaps isn’t how Campbell envisioned his first full NHL season going, and he probably didn’t imagine being elevated to starter after Jonathan Quick’s injury, but he’s performed admirably under pressure, giving the Kings a chance to win when he’s in net.
In addition to his skill in stopping pucks, Campbell was also recognized by some of our readers for his personality off the ice, too. JFTC reader Cynthia told us she was thankful for Campbell “for always being so humble even though his team has made him work his booty off.” Campbell’s had more than his fair share of work this year, and he’s given it 100% every time!
And of course, there’s also this, from an anonymous reader: “at the NHL awards this past summer backing up Quickie. Such important prep work, we had no idea.”
Have to love a goalie who’s always there for whatever his partner needs!
We could talk all day about why we’re thankful for Jonathan Quick. There’s the two Stanley Cups. The entertaining show he puts on every time he’s on the ice. The heart-stopping athleticism. The splits that make my entire body hurt just watching him.
But what came up most often in our reader feedback? Oh, how about just how much he delights in, uh, well, this:
Or, as one of our readers put it, they’re thankful for that time Quick “punch[ed] Corey Perry [...] thus allowing every non Ducks fan in the league to live vicariously through him.”
Yeah, that was real good.
I mean, heck, this was the first Kings game I went to on home turf, and it was everything I possibly could have asked for:
So thank you to Jonathan Quick for your tremendous athleticism, your timely saves, and the passion that you bring to every single game. What’s the fun in hockey when you’re not holding your breath to see what your goaltender is going to do next?
Previously in our “Month” of Gratitude series: Kyle Clifford | Nate Thompson | Mike Amadio | Paul LaDue | Jake Muzzin | Alec Martinez | Peter Budaj | Cal Petersen | Ilya Kovalchuk | Trevor Lewis | Dustin Brown | Derek Forbort | Dion Phaneuf | Oscar Fantenberg | Adrian Kempe | Alex Iafallo | Matt Luff | Austin Wagner | Carl Hagelin | Tyler Toffoli | Drew Doughty