After Peter Laviolette decided to pull Michael Leighton in last
night’s game, despite the Flyers being down just a goal in the 2nd
period in a game that was obviously not a ‘normal’ Stanley Cup game, you
knew that most of the news today would center around whether Leighton
or Brian Boucher would start today.
Then Laviolette refused to tell the media today who would be
starting, and it seemed that neither Leighton nor Boucher knew who was
After word started to leak that Leighton would in fact get the start,
the Flyers have officially announced the Michael Leighton will indeed
be in net tomorrow night in Game 2.
Earlier today, Chris Pronger was asked about the goaltender situation
and if Laviolette decided to go with Boucher that would be sending the
wrong message to the team. Pronger wasn’t biting.
“That’s the coach’s decision,” Pronger said. “We play the same way
whether Bouch is in the net or Leights is in the net. It doesn’t matter,
it shouldn’t matter to us in front of him. We need to play better in
front of him whoever is in the net. That’s the bottom line for us. It
This is why sticking with Leighton is the right choice. The
goaltending wasn’t the reason the Flyers allowed five goals on 20 shots
in the first and second period; he was far from perfect, but the Flyers
played extremely poor in front of him as well. Pronger feels if the
Flyers are able to clear up their approach, then they’ll be in much
better shape moving forward.
“[I’m] more concerned with how the goals were scored, just through
defensive lapses, really,” Pronger said. “It wasn’t like they created a
whole lot. It was more on our mistakes. And I guess that could be
disheartening and a positive thing. We can clean that up and we won’t
be allowing as much.”
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.