Kings @ Canadiens Recap: Another Stellar Goalie Performance in the Bell Centre
The story of the Kings' performance against the Habs begins and ends with Jonathan Quick. He was pelted with 45 shots and was still perfect.
Looking at the shot counter at the end of regulation is likely to evoke a similar feeling for many Kings fans. It was a game in which one team littered the other team's goalie with shots only to have key mistakes of their own be their undoing. What was unfamiliar was the Kings' placement on the fortune side of this equation. It was certainly an unconventional match for the Los Angeles Kings in the Montreal Canadiens' building.
Holy Quick. There's not much else to say when your goalie posts a 45 save shutout performance in another team's building. The uncommon doesn't stop there. The Kings were outshot 45 to 20. Granted some of that was on the powerplay, it was simply a continuation of the Canadiens' ability to inundate Jonathan Quick. What may further confuse you is that these totals weren't the result of giving up odd man rushes or defensive breakdowns that led to golden scoring chances. Montreal was simply beating Kings to pucks, which wrought havoc on the Kings usual plans in all three zones.
In fact, when you look at the scoring chances and shot attempts, you can see the Kings were ahead and keeping pace through the second period, respectively. It wasn't until the Kings' near back-to-back goals that the Habs truly opened the floodgates.
Weird, huh? The odd happenings didn't stop there. Would you believe me if I said that Jordan Weal got over a minute of powerplay time? That the Kings only took one more penalty than they received (three vs. two)? How about Anze Kopitar leading all Kings with four shots, including his goal? Still yet, would you believe that Michael Mersch screened the goalie on the first goal from Drew Doughty? Of course you would, just making sure you're still paying attention.
As I said though, the whole effort begins and ends with Quick. He was challenged to face screened shots, shots in tight, rebounds from shots in tight, and the list goes on. He was stellar throughout, and he certainly shaped the complexion of the game. It's hard to feel too bad about the Kings' effort when you look at how they scored their goals, generated chances and played sound defense against the Canadiens. So, let's end on a high note - some Jonathan Quick saves.