As far as I know, there’s no concrete award for being named the NHL’s player of the week, but surely Mikael Samuelsson could think of a better way to celebrate than to be injured for 2-3 weeks. Right?
All kidding aside, it’s been an up and down season for the Swedish winger. The Vancouver Sun reports that he’ll miss up to three weeks with the always nebulous “upper body injury.”
That injury, thought to be shoulder-related, was suffered late in Tuesday night’s 5-2 loss to the New York Islanders.
Canuck coach Alain Vigneault acknowledged the loss of Samuelsson is a significant blow to his team.
“He had been playing real well,” Vigneault said after his team’s practice today at General Motors Place. “He just got named first star in the NHL last week so obviously he was contributing to our success and it’s something we are going to have to deal with.”
Samuelsson had been one of the Canucks’ hottest offensive players of late. He has recorded 30 goals and 53 points this season. Both are career highs.
Along with posting career highs in points, Samuelsson also made waves when he shared some profanity-laced responses upon hearing news of being left off the Swedish Olympic team. Considering his solid chemistry with the Sedin twins, one cannot help but wonder if his right-handed shot could have come in handy for what turned out to be an underwhelming Swedish team.
Michael Grabner has been called up to replace him.
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.
Again, it’s a powerful read that you should soak in yourself, even if you’re unhappy with the way the Kings handled the situation.
Maybe the most pressing of many lingering questions is: will we get to hear Richards’ side of the story?
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.