Kings general manager Rob Blake notices it the most away from the ice.

It could be between periods or at practice. Blake will pick up on the mood when he makes his way through the hallway or passes through the Kings’ locker room. There, in those closed-door moments of preparation or rest, Blake sees where Jonathan Quick truly makes a difference.

“I think we missed him in the room, his leadership, his voice, his demeanor between periods, all the stuff that fans never see,” Blake said. “This team missed that direly last year. We understand what he does on the ice. We see it every night, but I think the whole package of what he brings to this team, we missed that last year. The team missed it for sure.”

Quick’s steadying presence is back in all forms. More than a year after an opening-night groin injury sent him to the sidelines and the Kings spiraling toward another playoff-less spring, Quick has morphed back into elite status and made an early case for his first Vezina Trophy, given to the goaltender judged to be the best at his position. Through Sunday, Quick was third in the NHL with a 2.18 goals-against average and .930 save percentage. He takes a personal six-game winning streak into Tuesday, with a 1.46 goals-against average in that run.

Deeper than the statistics is the way Quick has stolen games. He’s consistently kept the Kings upright while they’ve worked through parts of a newer offensive approach that sometimes results in more defensive lapses. Quick’s athleticism and ability to cover the bottom of the net still impresses. Rookie Alex Iafallo marvels at some of Quick’s saves.