It didn't take long for the Los Angeles Kings to settle on their No. 1 goalie for the 2011-12 National Hockey League season.
In fact, it was Quick. In fact, it is Quick. Jonathan Quick, that is.
The Kings' goalie, part of a Jonathan combo in LaLa Land (Jonathan Bernier is the Kings' other netminder) has left no doubt as to whom coach Terry Murray considers No. 1 after he zoomed off to a 5-0 start which included three consecutive shutouts and a goalless streak of 188 minutes and 10 seconds. (The shutout streak finally ended in Game 4, after 202 minutes and 11 seconds). Quick's goals-against-average after six games was 0.81 per game, and his save percentage was an astonishing .974, which was aided, of course, by 84 consecutive stops during his run of three zeroes.
A .974 save percentage? As the kids today would say, that's sick. That's giving up 26 goals on 1,000 shots, which is closer to what a brick wall might do than a human being wearing leather pads and flashing a quick - Jonathan Quick - glove. The all-time one-season save percentage record is .941, established in 1970-71 by Jacques Plante of the Canadiens.
"You've got to give the goaltender a lot of credit," said Murray. "He's focused, he's dialed in to the play and aggressive to the shots."
"I think he's always been a great goalie," defenceman Rob Scuderi told Helene Elliott of the L.A. Times. "What he's done is no surprise to anyone in here. I think it's all just clicking for him now."
Quick, who grew up in Connecticut and was third-string goalie for the U.S. in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, has a number of goals in mind this year, one of which is obviously to win the first Stanley Cup for his Kings. Goal No. 2, however, might be to keep New York Islanders' Mike Moulson from scoring. Moulson, a bit of a sniper with back-to-back 30-goal seasons, happens to be Quick's brother-in-law (the two NHLers married sisters). The two teams clash Feb. 11 in Uniondale.
No matter who wins the battle that night - and the betting here is on the Kings' goalie - the trash-talking will start immediately. Quickly, that is.
Janice Hough of leftcoastsportsbabe.com: "Ohio State is paying interim football coach Luke Fickell $775,000 this year. That's almost as much as some past Buckeye players."
R.J. Currie of sportsdeke.com: "The NY Jets traded disgruntled receiver Derrick Mason to the Texans. In return they'll get a gruntled draft pick."
Norman Chad of the Washington Post, on the NBA labour dispute: "Once again, we are faced with a preposterous labour-management divide in an industry that pays out weekly employee salaries with more zeroes than a Justin Verlander box score."
Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle: The Raiders had 12 men on the field one play Sunday, and 10 on another play. Coach HueJax should make his coaches and players watch the "Sesame Street" episode sponsored by the Number 11."
Comedy writer Jerry Perisho: "The NCAA is considering a plan that would pay student athletes on scholarship $2,000 while in school. It's to help pay for expenses beyond books, tuition and housing; in other words, it's bail money."
R.J. Currie of sportsdeke.com: "A cheerleader performing before a crowd at the Pan Am Games accidentally fell into a swimming pool. On the bright side, she did get the wave started."
Headline at TheOnion.com: "John Madden agrees to work as consultant for Raiders concession stand."
Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times: "In another sign of these bad economic times, the Lingerie Football League's Miami Caliente has ceased operations. At least every player was given a pink slip."
Blogger Bill Littlejohn, on the Bears' Devin Hester getting slapped on the back of the head while standing in a casino line: "It turned out to be Jim Harbaugh offering a handshake."
Ostler again: "Sam Spear wants the NFL to apply the 'tuck' rule to coaches who untuck their shirts to celebrate a victory, especially if the coach happens to be over the calorie cap."
One more from Ostler: "A 100-year-old man recently ran a marathon. The man, Fauja Singh, ran his first marathon at age 89. Wonderful, inspiring story. It shows me that I have a few more decades before I need to give up doughnuts and beer and get serious about shaping up."
Another one from Norman Chad, this time from Twitter, referring to a (yawn) 6-3 final score: "Due to an unusual 'quality control' mechanism, my DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket package has stopped showing the Seahawks-Browns game."
Steve Simmons in the Toronto Sun, quoting Buffalo Bills GM Buddy Nix, who's 71 years old: "It's just a number. As long as I have the same energy level and enthusiasm, it doesn't matter how old you are. It's football. It's not brain surgery."
David Letterman on CBS: "So the guy who shot Gadhafi was wearing a Yankees cap. If he'd had a Boston Red Sox hat on he probably would have missed."