There might be three games tonight, but there’s only one that really matters: Boston vs. Washington. That game has big implications for the Bruins, who still need to scratch-and-claw in order to make their way into the playoffs. Let’s take a look at that match and Monday’s other two games.
Boston Bruins (36-30-12, 84 pts) at Washington Capitals (51-15-12, 114 pts) 7 PM ET
The Capitals haven’t just wrapped up the East’s No.1 seed, they’ve already clinched the Presidents’ Trophy. It doesn’t seem like the team is really stepping off the pedal all that much, which is bad news for Boston. It’s really mind blowing how far these teams are apart; the Caps have 30 more points this season and their leading scorer (Ovechkin, 102) has more than double Boston’s leading point getter (Bergeron, 50). Boston is going to have to win this one the way they’ve done it all season: by grinding out an ugly victory.
Columbus Blue Jackets (32-34-13, 77 pts) at St. Louis Blues (38-31-9, 85 pts) 8 PM ET
While the Blue Jackets are already mathematically eliminated, the Blues are still technically “alive.” Really, though, the Blues are on the verge of being in the same club. Is this a more realistic depiction of these two teams’ potential, or is this just a bump in the road for the two franchises?
Minnesota Wild (37-35-7, 81 pts) at Edmonton Oilers (24-46-8, 56 pts) 9:30 PM ET
The Oilers can be forgiven if they’re more interested in the Taylor Hall-Tyler Seguin battles than their own games right now. It must be oddly freeing, though, that the Oilers clinched the bottom spot in the league so there’s no question of tanking. With Minnesota, they might be better off losing out.
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.