Jonathan Quick is having some kind of postseason. In his previous two trips to the playoffs, Quick allowed 21 and 20 goals, each time in just 6 games. Now, Quick has made it to the third round, and has allowed just 16 goals in 10 games. Incredibly, he’s given up more than 2 goals in a game just once, allowing 3 in the Kings’ only loss of the playoffs so far.
While the team in front of him blocks a lot of shots, Quick is still averaging 30 saves per game, including 46 saves in game 2 of the first round against the Canucks and a 41-save shutout in the following game.
At times, Quick has looked unbeatable. Then Derek Morris beat him cleanly from centre ice. Quick, however, allowed just 1 goal the rest of the game for the 25-save victory. So how did the other 15 goals get by him?
While Cam Charron analysed the shot location of regular season goals that got by Quick, Tim Thomas, and Henrik Lundqvist yesterday, as well as the location of the postseason goals on Lundqvist, I want to specifically look at the playoff goals on Quick and the situations that surrounded them. Where did Quick get beat? Was there traffic in front? Was he moving from side to side?
It’s a small sample size to work with, but small sample sizes can be fun.
1. Round One, Game One: Alex Burrows, wristshot from the slot
Burrows, who is currently playing for Team Canada at the World Championship and has 2 goals, shows some determination in battling for his own rebound to whip in a shot from the slot. The key to this goal, however, is some subtle interference by Ryan Kesler, who catches the butt end of Quick’s stick to take him off his angle just before Burrows puts the second shot on net.
Contact with the goaltender hasn’t been as big a story in these playoffs as it has been in the past, but interfering with a goaltender’s stick is a tactic that has been in use for years. Getting more contact on Quick can’t hurt.
2. Round One, Game One: Alex Edler, wristshot from the point
This is an odd one: Edler’s point shot deflects off Dustin Brown’s stick and actually bounces off the ice and over Quick’s shoulder. With the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers also still in the playoffs, the Staples Center will be hosting 6 playoff games in a 4-day span this week (2 hockey and 4 basketball). That means the ice will be all sorts of terrible. Maybe this will mean more bounces that might fool Quick?
Yeah, that’s grasping at straws. Not much to glean from this goal for how to beat Quick, other than get the shot towards the net and hope for the best.
3. Round One, Game Two: Jannik Hansen, deflection from the top of the crease
This is more like it. This is a very simple goal that relies on two things: getting the shot through from the point and having someone directly in front of the net with a deft stick. Henrik Sedin’s shot from the point isn’t particularly hard, but he gets it through cleanly and Hansen tips it up and over Quick’s pad on the blocker side.
4. Round One, Game Two: Samuel Pahlsson, backhand from the slot.
One of the problems with placing so many defenders in the shooting lane is that sometimes the puck won’t go where they want it to. Mike Richards knocks Keith Ballard’s point shot down out of midair, but does so directly to Pahlsson, who backhands it past Quick, who is completely out of position having played the original shot.
The key thing to notice here is that Ballard got it past the defender at the point, so that when it was blocked in the slot, it was in a scoring position.
5. Round One, Game Four: Alex Edler, wristshot from point on powerplay
With Kesler screening in front, Edler whips a wristshot past Quick. The shot isn’t particularly hard, but it’s well-placed and it gets by the first defender. Also key is how spread apart the two defencemen are at the point. The pass from Dan Hamhuis to Edler brings the puck all the way from one side of the rink to the other and Quick still isn’t quite set by the time Edler takes his shot.
6. Round One, Game Four: Kevin Bieksa, slap shot one-timer from the point
After a turnover in the neutral zone, David Booth backs off the defenders with speed and Henrik and Daniel Sedin drive to the net, drawing the defenders with them, giving Bieksa plenty of room for a one-timer. With none of the Kings’ skaters set to block the shot, it deflects off one of their sticks and over Quick. Thwarting the shot blocking of the Kings by driving them back into the zone is a definite key to beating Quick.
7. Round One, Game Four: Henrik Sedin, wristshot off rebound from side of the net on the powerplay
The other way to thwart the Kings’ shot blocking is to do what Daniel Sedin does here: fake the shot, then spin and make a blind, backhand pass. So…if you are capable of doing that, go ahead and do it. There is a definite element of luck to this goal, as the rebound goes over the heads of the Kings’ defenders and everyone but Henrik loses track of it.
I did a full breakdown of this goal a month ago over at Pass it to Bulis.
8. Round One, Game Five: Henrik Sedin, tap in on the powerplay
So…the lesson on this one is to have a twin who is ridiculously good at hockey. Do any of the members of the Phoenix Coyotes have twins?
9. Round Two, Game One: David Backes, deflection in front
Pietrangelo does well to drag the puck wide before taking his shot, getting the shot past the initial defender. Backes, while creating havoc in front of Quick, tips the puck past him. Again, getting traffic in front is important, but it’s useless if you can’t get your shots through from the point.
10. Round Two, Game Two: Andy McDonald, wristshot from top of crease
The Blues’ dump-in is close enough to Quick that he considers leaving his net to play it, but far enough away that he can’t reach it. That indecision leaves Quick out of position for the pass in front to McDonald, who directs it into the open net. The strong forecheck makes this goal happen, but the location of the dump-in that makes Quick second-guess himself is something to note down.
11. Round Two, Game Two: Matt D’Agostini, wristshot from faceoff circle
The Blues’ forecheck again creates a chance: the quick puck movement after the turnover is key here, as they get Quick moving. It’s interesting to note how Quick slides across in the butterfly rather than making a stronger kick across. D’Agostini’s delay on the shot catches Quick off-guard and also allows him to get the puck around the defender.
12. Round Two, Game Three: Christ Stewart, backhand shelf
Kris Russell creates this goal with his strong drive up the middle, drawing the defenders in and giving Stewart room on the wing, but Stewart’s finish is gorgeous. Baseball hitting instructor Charlie Lau once famously said, “There are two theories on hitting the knuckleball. Unfortunately, neither of them works.” Similar might be said about going backhand shelf: that’s a damnably difficult shot to stop.
13. Round Two, Game Three: Chris Stewart, tap in on rebound in the crease
Once again, the key to this goal is getting the puck through to the net. Pietrangelo’s wristshot isn’t particularly hard, but with Stewart screening in front, Quick can’t control it and the rebound comes lose in the crease, where Stewart can jam it in. With the Kings looking to block shots, defenceman can’t always afford to load up a slap shot: a quick wristshot that gets through to the net will be more effective.
14. Round Two, Game Four: Kevin Shattenkirk, slap shot from the top of the circle
Here, however, Shattenkirk has time for the slap shot thanks to a bit of a sloppy change from the Kings. The shot comes from Quick’s left and goes off the far post and in, about a foot and a half off the ice. It’s a gorgeous shot, with a definite 80′s feel to it. That goal should have been wearing a pastel shirt and a sport coat.
15. Round Three, Game One: Derek Morris, slap shot from centre ice
Then again, if you have time to load up the slap shot, even from centre ice, sometimes it’s worth it. On the TSN broadcast, Ray Ferraro repeatedly said that the puck skipped on Quick, but it clearly doesn’t. That shot beat him clean.
16. Round Three, Game One: Mikkel Boedker, wristshot from top of the crease
This goal hearkens back to the first one from Burrows: some slight contact occurs as Antoine Vermette skates between Quick and the goal, delaying Quick’s return to the net for a fraction of a second. Vermette’s hard forecheck frees up the puck for Shane Doan, who swings it out front where Boedker is waiting. The goal also bears a similarity to goal 10 from Andy McDonald: a strong forecheck freeing up a puck that is passed out front to a waiting player for the tap-in.