Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick didn't become one of the NHL's very best at his job because he could steal his team a win once in a while. He got to that level because he can steal wins on a regular basis. And although he fell just short Wednesday in L.A.'s 6-5 shootout loss to Anaheim, a save he made on Ducks center Rickard Rakell was the latest demonstration of Quick's staggering skill and athleticism.
It was late in the second period with the Kings holding a 3-2 lead when Anaheim broke in quickly on a 3-on-2; Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano fired a shot at Quick, who made the save but gave up a rebound that went, with no small amount of speed, right onto the stick of Rakell. He snapped the puck back at the Kings net immediately, and if there had been almost any other goalie between the pipes, he would've scored the first goal of his NHL career. Unfortunately for him, he was facing someone with the instincts and ability to do this:
As soon as he's made the save on Cogliano, Quick pivots and pushes to his left with no time to spare to get his glove on Rakell's lightning-quick shot – and even then, his catching glove is behind his outstretched left pad and just in front of the goal line when the puck enters his glove. Small wonder Kings head coach Darryl Sutter effusively praised Quick's performance after the game, saying, "If it wasn’t for Jonathan, it wasn’t even close."
That much is true, but this play certainly was.