Kings taking Quick path to Cup

Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick laughs during an interview in El Segundo, Calif., June 5, 2012....

Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick laughs during an interview in El Segundo, Calif., June 5, 2012. (LUCY NICHOLSON/Reuters)

STEVE SIMMONS, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:13 PM ET

LOS ANGELES - Bill Ranford has never talked Stanley Cup with Jonathan Quick, never told him about his own Conn Smythe Trophy, never taken out his rings, either of them, and put them on display.

"It isn't part of our conversation," the goalie coach said of the soon-to-be-champion Los Angeles Kings. "It isn't what we do. It's not part of our relationship."

For the past five years, Quick and Ranford have talked about almost everything, the star goalie and his personal coach. Just never about the 1990 Stanley Cup won by the Edmonton Oilers, the latest and most unlikely of their championship seasons -- the title they won when Wayne Gretzky was playing for the Kings. It was the year Ranford surprised everyone and stole the Stanley Cup.

Jonathan Quick isn't surprising anyone these days with his uncanny playoff performance, this close to his first championship, least of all the man who knows his work best.

"We don't talk about my career, or what I might have done," Ranford said. "It's not really relevant. We don't look at stats, we don't talk about stats or anything like that. It's about wins, 16 (playoff) wins. That we talk about a lot."

When Ranford first saw Quick at the Kings training camp in 2007, he saw an athlete more than he saw a goalie. Quick was a gangly kid who overplayed the game. Ranford saw a youngster who moved too much. He was, in the goalie coach kind of speak, too busy. "We had to find a way to calm his game down," Ranford said.

"After a lot of work, when he first came up from the American Hockey League and took over as our No. 1 (in 2008), I thought there was some potential there." He thought potential. He wasn't thinking future Hall of Famer.

"He has worked very hard to get where he is. You have to give him all the credit in the world. You ask him to do something, he does it. The results are finally showing. He was good all season for us, he was our rock. He has just carried it on in the playoffs."

That's Ranford's low-key way of not overemphasizing what Quick has done during the post-season: Fifteen wins, two losses. A 1.36 goals-against average in those 17 games. A .950 save percentage. And in the first three games of the final, a .972 save percentage and a 0.59 goals-against average.

Like his coach, Quick, 26, is on his way to a Conn Smythe Trophy and a Cup. That may happen Wednesday night. Or maybe it will be stretched out for a few more days. But it will happen -- both the Conn Smythe win and the first championship for Quick. Ranford won his second Stanley Cup as the Oilers starter, his first as a backup to Grant Fuhr, and followed up his Cup performance with an MVP in the 1991 Canada Cup tournament and another MVP on a world championship team for Canada in 1994.

Quick isn't looking to the Olympics right now, there is a game to play Wednesday night and maybe none after that for a while. He has allowed just two goals during the first three games of the Stanley Cup final -- all wins -- and the New Jersey Devils have yet to score a goal shooting the puck past him. The two goals that beat him were on deflections, one off his own teammate's chest. A shutout in Game 4 would beat Rogie Vachon's record (three) for the fewest goals allowed in a Cup final. Vachon did that against the expansion St. Louis Blues in 1969.

"Winning is what we talk about all the time," Ranford said. "We've talked about getting in the mind-set and what it takes to be a No. 1 goalie in this league. He has done very well with that."

Quick isn't at all nervous about what comes next. The nerves hit him before Game 1. He tried to sleep in the afternoon and couldn't. "Your mind's racing a little bit," Quick said. "I couldn't calm down."

It reminded him of being a kid, growing up as a New York Rangers fan with a Mike Richter poster on his bedroom wall. Most nervous he remembers being? Game 7, 1994 Stanley Cup final. He was eight years old at the time. Now, with one game to win, not so much.

"We have 15 wins," Quick said. "We need one more."

He said it stonefaced, as a matter of fact. Bill Ranford would have liked that.


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