Here’s the quick recap of tonight’s preseason action. If you’re a Minnesota Wild fan, you may want to look away. Again.
Buffalo 5 – Montreal 3
Plus: Prospect Luke Adam had two goals for Buffalo in looking good for the Sabres there. He likely won’t make the team, but he’s at least giving them something to keep in mind when they eventually send him back. Thomas Vanek and Tim Connolly scored as well, something the Sabres hope carries into the regular season.
Minus: A pretty lethargic overall effort from Montreal. Yeah, it’s the preseason but don’t some guys have jobs to play for? Montreal’s defense hung Alex Auld out to dry in dealing with 37 shots on goal, stopping 32.
St. Louis 4 – Chicago 1
Plus: Another nice game from the Blues with Alex Steen getting a goal and an assist to keep his preseason scoring run hot. Jaroslav Halak had 30 saves in the win. Ben Smith had the only goal for Chicago.
Minus: Give it up for Hawks prospect Kyle Beach. Yes, he had a fight and that’s one of his jobs, but he ate a -4 on the game. Woof.
Columbus 4 – Minnesota 2
Plus: Solid, all-around team effort from the Blue Jackets getting scoring from four different players. Steve Mason did well stopping 24 shots. Minnesota’s power play did the work for themselves tonight, scoring twice on the man advantage.
Minus: Another loss for the Wild who have yet to win a game in the preseason. Coming off of a bad year, at least winning some meaningless games could give the fans a reason to have some hope. Defensive defenseman Greg Zanon was a -2. When it rains, it pours.
Dallas 2 – Colorado 1
Plus: A comeback win for the Stars who trailed 1-0 with 12 minutes to play until Mike Ribeiro and Brendan Morrow scored to win. Morrow’s game-winner came with just a minute to play.
Minus: Holy cow look at the penalties. Ten penalties a piece for each team and only four of them were coincidental minors. That’s just a brutal way to go through a preseason game.
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.