The trials and tribulations of the Philadelphia Flyers are pretty well known at this point, but exactly how bad is the end of their season? SBN’s Bird Watchers Anonymous took a deeper look at how the Eastern Conference playoff race is wrapping up and one of the most startling things to read is about the Flyers.
In MOST years, the playoff bubble teams up the ante and earn points at a slightly higher rate than they did before the trade deadline. It makes sense that the playoff bubble teams have the most to play for and they usually elevate their performance.
PHI has been terrible, slumping from a 93 point pace to 67 point pace that would put them in draft lottery land over a full season.
That kind of points drop-off is dramatic, to say the least, and it’s pretty easy to point fingers at goaltending for a brutal finish as Philadelphia has been , that brings their goalie total to seven players who have suited up to play this year alone and they’re still looking around for help from the college ranks according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.
It’s safe to say that Flyers GM Paul Holmgren, or any GM for that matter, can’t aptly prepare for such an injury fiasco at one position. That said, opportunities were reportedly there for Philly at the trade deadline and Holmgren opted to stand pat during the trade deadline. Clearly, there’s not a lot that can be done now and the Flyers are doing as best as they can to fill holes, but you can’t help but figure that a lot of questions will be asked and answers are going to be demanded in Philadelphia should the Flyers come up short of the playoffs.
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.