Despite Brandon’s suggestions, it’s clear that the Pittsburgh Penguins carried their frustrations over from Game 6. The Canadiens go into the second period with a 2-0 lead mostly because of the Penguins’ own mistakes.
Sidney Crosby took a bad boarding penalty about 10 seconds into the game and Matt Cooke followed him shortly. Marc-Andre Fleury allowed yet another soft, early goal 32 seconds in thanks to Crosby’s penalty. Within a minute, the Penguins already shot themselves in the foot and then dug that hole deeper later in the second by allowing a Dominic Moore goal because of a bad turnover. The Pens almost seem like they inherited the stupor of last night’s Canucks team, looking as flat in the first as Vancouver did in their putrid second period.
My guess is that the Penguins will come out angry in the second period, but they should know by now that the Montreal Canadiens are used to withstanding angry offensive barrages. A 2-0 lead seems like a 25-0 lead when you consider the fact that Jaroslav Halak has been a machine in elimination games.
It’s not over yet for Pittsburgh, but it sure isn’t looking good. Stay tuned for more updates and feel free to drop by for our live chat.
In slightly less interesting Los Angeles Kings news than the latest in the Mike Richards fiasco, the team handed Peter Budaj a one-year, two-way deal on Friday.
The veteran goalie’s contract pays $575K on the NHL level and $100K in the AHL (though it’s $150K guaranteed), according to Hockey’s Cap.
At the moment, it sounds like Budaj will be third on the Kings’ goalie depth chart. That says as much about how things have been going lately for Los Angeles than Budaj’s work on a PTO.
As noted above, one of the more significant moves in Budaj’s favor came when the New York Islanders claimed Jean-Francois Berube off of waivers this week.
The Kings actually waived Budaj before signing him, so this has to be a relief to a goalie with a fairly robust resume as a backup.
All apologies to Budaj, but it’s probably true that the Kings would prefer not to see him at the NHL level very often in 2015-16.
The Los Angeles Kings announced today that they have “reached an agreement with Mike Richards to resolve the grievance filed in relation to the termination of his NHL Standard Players Contract. The terms are agreeable to all parties.”
The club said that it will not be commenting further “on the terms” of the settlement.
The NHLPA released a similar statement.
It was reported earlier in the week that a settlement was close to being reached; however, it wasn’t clear what salary-cap penalties the Kings would incur.
We’re starting to find out some details now:
How the final numbers differ from what the Kings would have incurred if they’d bought Richards out will be interesting to see. And if there are differences, how will they be justified?