Kings update: Will Jonathan Quick's start mean a quick start?
The Kings' eternal search for a top-notch goaltender has paused for the moment.
Jonathan Quick, summoned from Manchester of the American Hockey League last week after Erik Ersberg pulled a groin muscle, will start his third consecutive game when the Kings face the Phoenix Coyotes tonight at Staples Center.
Quick's last game was a 24-save shutout of Columbus on Tuesday. Ersberg practiced Friday for the first time since his injury and said he felt good, but he's not ready to supplant Quick.
"I'd like to see how he's going to be," Coach Terry Murray said of Quick after the team's game-day skate. "Play him tonight, see how it goes, and make a decision [Saturday] on the game at Phoenix.
"But I'm interested to see how his game has come along since training camp. He's looked very good in both the games that he's played. The Detroit game, being the first one, it's a pretty intense building for a young guy to go into and I thought he was very collected and composed ... Overall he was very good."
Murray said he couldn't specify the areas in which Quick has improved most since training camp. "He's very competitive. He's athletic he's got skill level, no doubt about it," Murray said.
"I like his battle. I like his compete a lot. He never gives up. He's on top of things. He's learning the NHL game here in the last couple games. He's really adjusted well to the NHL shooters."
But General Manager Dean Lombardi jokingly said he doesn't like Quick's mask, which is decorated in the back with an artist's rendering of palm trees and a goalie silhouetted against a California sunset. The front is painted to resemble a knight's visor.
"This mask does not make me very happy. I'm not sure I like the palm trees," Lombardi said. "Should they be expressing themselves like that, with that on their head? Why shouldn't every player be allowed to put his favorite famous rock star on his helmet?"
If it would generate sponsorship dollars the NHL undoubtedly would jump on that idea.
-- Helene Elliott
Top photo: Kings goalie Jonathan Quick makes a diving save against the Red Wings during a Dec. 20 game at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. Credit: Luc Leclerc / US Presswire
Bottom photo: Erik Ersberg. Credit: Christian Peterson / Getty Images