Jonathan Quick: Shades of Mike Richter
In watching Los Angeles Kings' goaltender and now Team USA goaltender Jonathan Quick, one cannot help but notice that Quick looks like another American goaltending great. This goaltending great would be three time US Olympian and New York Rangers' legend Mike Richter.
As someone who has been a goaltender for over 20 years and one that has watched and studied many goaltenders, it is easy to see that Quick plays a very similar style that Richter utilized when he was winning over 300 games in his NHL career. For starters, it is all about agility and quickness.
When Richter was starring for the Blueshirts on Broadway, he was one of the quickest goaltenders in not just the NHL, but in the world. Richter was one of the best when it came to going post-to-post, going from point A to point B, and staying with shooters on breakaways.
While between the pipes, Quick utilizes that same quickness and agility to keep the puck out of the net. Against Team Russia today, Quick was solid in going post to post to stop close in chances while also showing the ability to stop breakaways in the shootout.
Another trait that Quick and Richter share is their ability to perform in the clutch. Richter did that several times in his career as he helped the Rangers win their first Stanley Cup in 54 years in 1994, then led Team USA to a World Cup victory in 1996 en route to winning tournament MVP, and in 2002, he came within one win away of leading Team USA to their first Olympic Gold Medal since 1980.
Like Richter, Quick has led his team to a Cup as he helped the Kings win their first Cup in franchise history in 2012. In the postseason last year, Quick also came close to getting his team back to the Stanley Cup Final only to lose to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Finals.
Lastly, Richter and Quick are alike in that they are both considered elite goaltenders. From 1989-90 season all the way to near the end of his career, Richter was looked at one of the league's best goaltenders.
In that span, Richter appeared in three All-Star games (1992, 1994, and 2000), played in the postseason in all but one season from 1990-1998, won a Stanley Cup (1994), won a World Cup (1996), won a Silver Medal, and was the Rangers' best player on many different occasions. No, he was not Patrick Roy, Dominik Hasek, or Martin Brodeur but he was still considered one of the game's top netminders when in his prime.
Currently, there is no doubt that Quick is one of the best goaltenders in the world. At just 28 years of age, Quick has already won a Cup, is in his second stint with Team USA as an Olympian, has been nominated for a Vezina Trophy as the league's top goaltender (2012), and has shown the ability to be one of the game's best when the game is on the line.
With Quick having performed the way he has in his first two Olympic starts, may be he'll separate himself from Richter by not only being a US masked man to win a Cup, but to also win a Gold Medal for his country.