Senators' defensive woes continue

Kuba.jpgFlip Kuba doesn’t practice, could miss third straight game.

The Ottawa Senators were one of the few teams that I thought would make a serious push to acquire veteran defensive help at the trade deadline. Some maneuvering would be needed, considering how tight the Sens are against the cap, but if they are serious about making a focused push into the playoffs and beyond, there’s no question they would need more defensive help.

The Senators have allowed 187 goals this season; certainly not that far off the pace from Pittsburgh and Washington above them in the standings. Yet they are 4th-best in the NHL in shots allowed per game, while 20th in goals-against average. The goaltending and defense isn’t bad necessarily, but the Senators’ overall offense is not good enough to keep up with the Eastern conference powers.

If they had hoped to make some noise in the postseason, some form of help would be needed to get a young defensive corps shored up. Well, they added Andy Sutton. And Erik Karlsson is coming on strong.

But now the team is faced with the possibility of Filip Kuba missing significant time. He’s missed the past two games and doesn’t look likely for tomorrow’s game either. In those two games, the Senators have been outscored 8-2 and the goaltending has been atrocious. Would Kuba’s presence have helped? Tough to say, especially considering the fact that the Senators have not allowed less than three goals in a game since February 3rd, and that was against Buffalo.

It’s not entirely out of the question for the Senators to be able to continue winning without having added defensive help; heck they were finding some way to do it before the Olympic break. But to add Andy Sutton and say “Yep, we’re good to go for the playoffs” is a bit ignorant. Especially when you lose Kuba for the next week or so.

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    Kings GM says Mike Richards went into ‘a destructive spiral’

    Mike Richards
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    The Los Angeles Kings may owe Mike Richards money until 2031 (seriously), but in settling his grievance, the team and player more or less get to turn the page.

    Not before Kings GM Dean Lombardi shares his sometimes startling perspective, though.

    Lombardi has a tendency to be candid, especially in the press release-heavy world of sports management. Even by his standards, his account of Richards’ “destructive sprial” is a staggering read from the Los Angeles Times’ Lisa Dillman.

    “Without a doubt, the realization of what happened to Mike Richards is the most traumatic episode of my career,” Lombardi said in a written summation he provided to the Los Angeles Times. “At times, I think that I will never recover from it. It is difficult to trust anyone right now – and you begin to question whether you can trust your own judgment. The only thing I can think of that would be worse would be suspecting your wife of cheating on you for five years and then finding out in fact it was true.”

    Lombardi provides plenty of eyebrow-raising statements to Dillman, including:

    • He believed he “found his own Derek Jeter” in Richards, a player who “at one time symbolized everything that was special about the sport.”
    • Lombardi remarked that “his production dropped 50 percent and the certain ‘it’ factor he had was vaporizing in front of me daily.”
    • The Kings GM believes that he was “played” by Richards.

    … Yeah.

    Again, it’s a powerful read that you should soak in yourself, even if you’re unhappy with the Lombardi and the Kings handled the situation.

    Maybe the most pressing of many lingering questions is: will we get to hear Richards’ side of the story?

    Coyotes exploit another lousy outing from Quick

    Jonathan Quick
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    Despite owning two Stanley Cup rings, there are a healthy number of people who aren’t wild about Jonathan Quick.

    Those people might feel validated through the Los Angeles Kings’ first two games, as he followed a rough loss to the San Jose Sharks with a true stinker against the Arizona Coyotes on Friday.

    Sometimes a goalie has a bad night stats-wise, yet his team is as much to blame as anything else. You can probably pin this one on Quick, who allowed four goals on just 14 shots through the first two periods.

    Things died down in the final frame, but let’s face it; slowing things down is absolutely the Coyotes’ design with a 4-1 lead (which ultimately resulted in a 4-1 win).


    A soft 1-0 goal turned out to be a sign of things to come:

    Many expected the Kings to roar into this second game after laying an egg in their opener. Instead, the Coyotes exploited Quick’s struggles for a confidence-booster, which included key prospect Max Domi scoring a goal and an assist.

    It’s worth mentioning that Mike Smith looked downright fantastic at times, only drawing more attention to Quick’s struggles.


    After a troubled summer and a failed 2014-15 season, Los Angeles was likely eager to start things off the right way.

    Instead, they instead will likely focus on the fact that they merely dropped two (ugly) games.