The impending Stanley Cup Final between the New Jersey Devils and Los Angeles Kings might not feature our favorite teams, but it still is rife for potential Things of Interest, including and especially the teams’ starting goalies. Let’s do a little comparison between the two and see how they got to the place they are now.
May 6, 1972 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada (though was naturalized in 2009 and is a dual citizen)
Drafted 20th overall by New Jersey in 1990
Has All of the Awards: Vezina (x4), Jennings (x5), Calder, All-Star (x10), Olympic gold medal (x2), Worlds silver medal (x2)
Holds All of the Records: All-time leader in regular-season wins, losses, shutouts, games played, et al
Is the reason the trapezoid exists
Is also part of the reason the unsportsmanlike conduct rule was revised
2011-12 record: 31-21-4, 3 shutouts, 2.41 GAA, .908%
January 21, 1986 in Milford, Connecticut, USA
Drafted 72nd overall by Los Angeles in 2005
Vezina finalist, Olympic silver medal (x1)
Led University of Massachusetts Amherst to first NCAA championship
Is a big part of the reason the Kings even made the playoffs
Brother-in-law of Matt Moulson
2011-12 record: 35-21-23, 10 shutouts, 1.95 GAA, .929%
Let’s not discount the two backup goalies for each team, Johan Hedberg and Jonathan Bernier. Hedberg put together a 17-7-0 record this year and is one of three Atlanta alumni on the Devils. Bernier got a 5-6-2 record and once dealt with seeing a reporter naked as part of an ESPN The Magazine story. Neither goalie has played a single game in this postseason and I don’t expect either of them to do so in the Final unless something very odd happens.
Win or lose, I think there’s a compelling case for Quick to win the Conn Smythe. Like I said, his strong play during the regular season, when it felt like LA could not buy a goal, kept them in the playoff hunt. A losing team member last won the Conn Smythe when J.S. Giguere got it in 2003. But it would also mean the second American goalie in a row would win the Conn Smythe!