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Despite Jonathan Quick's success, he's likely to watch Ryan Miller during the Olympics

February 14, 2010 |  9:01 pm

Even though Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick goes into the Olympic break with an NHL-leading 35 wins, that won't be enough for him to unseat Buffalo's Ryan Miller as the U.S. Olympic starter.

Coach Ron Wilson is a firm believer in the one-goalie system -- and that one goalie will be Miller, who ranks second in the NHL in save percentage (.930) and goals-against average (2.16). Quick is 27th in save percentage at .907 and 15th in goals-against average at 2.53. Boston's Tim Thomas is the third U.S. goalie. His .915 save percentage ranks 17th and his 2.52 goals-against average ranks 14th.

The U.S. men will open the tournament Tuesday against Switzerland at Canada Hockey Place, the Olympic name for GM Place.

"Teams that switch up their goalies are rarely successful. You ride the hot guy," Wilson said Sunday. "I don't think there's one person in this room that would say that Ryan hasn't been the best goalie overall in the league this year, up to this point.

"I plan on playing Ryan and the other two guys will alternate backing up. But anything can happen. Stuff happens and all three goalies have to be ready."

Miller said he's ready for whatever comes. "I'm figuring when Ron taps me on the shoulder I'm going to go in net and I'm going to play. When he doesn't tap me, I'll support the team," he said. "For now I'll leave it up to Ron to tap somebody and from there, we'll go."

Kings defenseman Jack Johnson, who chartered a flight here to march in the Opening Ceremony on Friday and flew back to Los Angeles to play in the Kings' game against Colorado on Saturday, was so eager to return that he took a 7 a.m. flight back to Vancouver on Sunday. Quick and winger Dustin Brown were scheduled to arrive in Vancouver on Sunday evening.

Johnson said he hasn't had much sleep lately but he doesn't mind. "I've been catching up here and there," he said. "I had a really long pregame nap [Saturday] so that helped a lot."

-- Helene Elliott, in Vancouver

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