In the second round of last night’s fantasy draft, captain Zdeno Chara chose Tim Thomas for his team as the first goaltender selected. How can you blame Chara? After all, regardless of how he felt about his teammate’s absence from the White House this week, Thomas was arguably the biggest reason why Chara can call himself a Stanley Cup champion – and who wouldn’t be eternally grateful for that?
In the third round, team captain Daniel Alfredsson chose the first goaltender for his team. Alfie certainly had his selection of elite netminders from Jimmy Howard or Brian Elliott. Alfredsson, though, chose Los Angeles’ Jonathan Quick.
Some may have been surprised by the choice but I certainly thought it was the most sensible one. With all due respect to the other all-star goaltenders, Quick was the reason have played as well as they have up until this point. Howard and Elliott both have great seasons but, unlike Quick, they’ve also had a plethora of goal support from their respective teams. Quick has taken a goal-anaemic Kings squad and, for all intents and purposes, has carried them on their back. When the Kings win, Quick is praised and if the Kings lose, Quick is still praised. Quite frankly, how can #32 possibly go wrong? Or, better yet, how could Daniel Alfredsson have gone wrong? He couldn’t have and he showed it in the third round last night.
The bad news about being on Alfredsson’s team is that Quick will be playing with Vancouver’s Sedin twins and Ryan Kesler. Worse, Kings fans will have to cheer for them as well, although they won’t likely do that. You could get upset with Alfredsson for choosing the Canucks but realistically, after last year’s cup final, did you really expect Chara to pick any of them? I certainly wouldn’t have.
For the years I lived in Ottawa, I never liked nor supported the Ottawa Senators. In fact, I’d heckle Daniel Alfredsson whenever I could. Although over the past few years, I’ve gotten older and although I’m still not partial to the Sens, I’ve developed a new-found respect for Ottawa’s veteran captain for various reasons but the fact that Jonathan Quick was his first choice as goaltender is another reason to sing the praises of Alfredsson.
Although I haven’t been a big fan of the NHL’s annual event since I was a kid, I am excited for this weekend’s game as Jonathan Quick is a favourite of mine and I want to see how he fares in a game he should have played in not only last year but the year before that, as well. Besides, I want to see if it’s possible for Kings and Canucks to co-exist. I’m optimistic but many aren’t so we’ll just have to see.
Some may say that Jonathan Quick was drafted too high last night. I say that Quick’s high position simply made up for all of the much-deserved attention he’s never received outside of Los Angeles. This weekend will be Jonathan Quick’s time to shine with everyone watching and if his performances with the Kings have been any indication, fans all over the league will soon fall in love with what I will safely call hockey’s best-kept secret.
Photo: Courtesy of Jim McIsaac/Getty Images