Jonathan Quick back with the Manchester Monarchs? Not so fast.
The Stanley Cup champion, Conn Smythe winner and recently announced Team USA goaltender was supposed to join the Manchester Monarchs for this weekend’s road trip to Binghamton (Friday night), Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (Saturday) and Hershey (Sunday).
Quick has been out of the Los Angeles Kings’ lineup since mid-November with a groin injury and was slated to make two rehab starts with the Monarchs, but the weather spoiled that plan.
“Jonathan Quick was supposed to join us in Binghamton,” Monarchs head coach Mark Morris said. “He was supposed to play Friday and Sunday but I just got a text that his flight got canceled and so he won’t join us.”
Missing out on the weekend games and then a five-day span until Manchester plays again likely means Quick won’t make any rehab starts with the Monarchs. The next game after this weekend is at home next Friday against Bridgeport.
“That would be my guess, but I don’t know that for sure,” Morris said.
Quick’s return to eventual action with the Kings will force a decision in L.A. Ben Scrivens has played well in Quick’s absence, but the real story has been Martin Jones. In 10 starts with the Kings, Jones has gone 8-2-0 and leads the NHL in goals against average with a 1.29.
Jones is on a two-way contract, which means he is protected from other teams claiming him as he passes waivers to return to Manchester. Scrivens would not be safe and that makes it more than likely that Jones will come back to the Monarchs and resume his No. 1 role here.
As for the Monarchs’ road trip, the team had a slow go on Thursday’s trip to New York due to the weather, but reached its destination in the afternoon and settled in. There hasn’t been much activity for the team this week after playing Tuesday night (a 3-1 loss to Providence).“It’s been mainly rest. Four games in six days is a pretty hard grind. They had (Wednesday) off and (Thursday) we’ve been riding the bus. We haven’t done much,” Morris said. “We’ll have a video session to correct some of the things we see we need work on and then we’ll focus on Binghamton.”The Monarchs remain atop the AHL standings at 22-8-5 for 49 points, but the recent string of three losses in four games has closed the gap. Two of this weekend’s opponents are not far behind. Binghamton (19-9-3 for 41 points) and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (18-9-4, 40) are the top two teams in the East Division.The focus for Manchester will be to play a complete game and eliminate the costly errors at key times that have led to losses recently.“We’ve played pretty good hockey for the most part. It’s just been momentary lapses that have really made us pay,” Morris said. “Aside from a lapse in concentration or a missed assignment here and there, I think we’ve played some pretty good hockey for long periods of time. But you’ve got to play all 60 minutes and sometimes more. I think we haven’t been as sharp as we need to at key moments that are defining moments in the game.”