"Is it October yet?" has been the million-dollar question looming all summer long in Los Angeles, and why wouldn't it be? For fans of the Los Angeles Kings, they had just witnessed their team capture their second Stanley Cup crown in three years. Not only will be the beginning of the new hockey season mark another championship banner get raised to the rafters (and on time this year) but 2014-15 will mark the chance of a dynasty. It will be not be an easy road but any means but fans in the City of Angels don't seem to mind. After all, they're fully confident in their team's abilities. But there are some other aspects to look forward to this coming season for Kings fans as well.
Last season, Jonathan Quick surpassed Rogie Vachon to become the winningest goaltender in Kings history. This season, Quick will be on the precipice of another franchise record, albeit, to some, not as important as the wins mark. Nevertheless, Jonathan Quick will enter the 2014-15 campaign with 31 shutouts. The aforementioned Vachon holds the team record for shutouts with 32. In addition, Quick is within striking distance of John Vanbiesbrouck and Frank Brimsek for most shutouts by a US-born netminder with 40. The 2012 Conn Smythe winner will still have plenty of goaltenders in front of him still but even so, if and when he does pass both men, they will both be significant accomplishments - especially considering that it has taken less time for Quick to achieve what he has.
For the Kings, Rogie Vachon played in 389 games. Quick has suited up for 335. For the US-born shutout race, Brimsek played in 574 games while Vanbiesbrouck took part in 882. While I'm certainly not taking anything away from these netminders, this is certainly a testament to what an outstanding goaltender has been thus far.
In terms of wins by a US-born goaltender, Quick still has a ways to go. The aforementioned Vanbiesbrouck holds that record with 374 wins. Quick currently has 176. And by the way, we're sticking with the US-born category because, let's be honest, it will take a while for anyone to even come close to Martin Brodeur's all-time marks of 124 shutouts and 688 wins. Maybe one of these days.
When he entered the league in 2008, Jonathan Quick, to many, was just a goaltender with a prophetic name. But it didn't take long before the the 28-year-old proved that he was much more than that. With everyone Quick has accomplished, passing Rogie Vachon on the all-time shutouts list may not be something he needs to solidify himself as a world-class goaltender, but it will definitely underline just how great he is. As for the chase of US-born goaltenders, again, it's not something that is needed, but it will be a gratifying accomplishment nonetheless when it is reached.
Is it October yet? No, but it's getting closer, and fans in Los Angeles can barely take it anymore - and who can possibly blame them?