Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick will start in net for the United States men’s hockey team on Thursday.
The Americans will square off against Slovakia in their Olympic opener and Quick has gotten the call between the pipes though it is unclear if he will also start on Saturday against Russia.
Quick won the Conn Smythe Trophy during the Kings’ run to the Stanley Cup in 2012 and was a member of the U.S. silver medal team at the 2010 Games. There was speculation that Buffalo Sabres’ goalie Ryan Miller would get the nod, but it looks like Quick has earned the top spot.
Miller was the MVP of the tournament at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. He will serve are the primary backup and might get a shot to start in another game. Detroit Red Wings net-minder Jimmy Howard will also be on the bench.
Quick had the following to say about the opportunity:
We’ve got three great goaltenders on this team. Every one of us wants to play and wants to give this team a chance to win. I’m fortunate for the opportunity and just try and make the most of it.
Miller was complementary of Quick:
He’s a great goalie, and he’s going to do great for us. We’ll see where it goes from here, and I’ll be ready to play.
In 16 games since Quick returned to the Kings following a groin injury, he has allowed two or fewer goals 11 times. So he’s been on fire lately. For the 2013-14 season, Quick is 16-13-1, with a 2.18 goals against average and a save percentage of .911.
The 28-year-old Quick can be an absolute stud when he turns things on. In the past two seasons he has been unbelievable in the postseason, so in a short tournament he might be the guy to go with.
We’ll see if U.S. head coach Dan Bylsma made the right decision Thursday in Sochi.