Yes. Quick was elite all last season. The Kings couldn't score goals to save their lives and he held them in a lot of games they had no business even being in.
I know they don't really like to include many goalies in the nominations but he would've been a deserving candidate for the Hart. Kings fans were chanting "MVP" when Quick stole another game even before the playoffs began.
The playoffs and Cup run brought attention and legitimized his performance to the rest of the hockey world. As for before last season, it's hard to say. He was very good on an underachieving team but honestly it is hard to call someone truly elite when they don't have some hardware or at least stellar playoff runs to back it up.
So Jimmy was .09 SV% and .18 GAA away from being a Hart trophy candidate? That's pretty damn close to elite is it not? Howard has proven to play at a top 5 goalie level for an entire season. There are not many goalies I'd take over him, and even fewer when you know Howard's not going to be paid like a top 5 goalie.