Two different superstar goalies whose teams rely on them heavily to win games for them won’t be hitting the ice tonight. New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur who left the Devils’ last game early with an apparent elbow injury won’t be playing tonight as the Devils take on the New York Rangers. For Brodeur, he tried everything out today in practice and just didn’t feel right enough to play what a full and potentially frustrating game against the Rangers. Fire & Ice’s Tom Gulitti gets the word from Brodeur himself.
Brodeur made it clear that his elbow feels much better than it did on Wednesday.
“Not even close,” he said. “It got better. There was no way I could have finished the game in Chicago and yesterday was painful going through and I thought everything was going good. This morning I thought everything was going to be all right, but I needed to get on the ice to really find out. If I took the morning off, I probably would have played tonight, but I needed to go on and see how I felt.”
Brodeur said “the first couple of shots even feeling the puck was fine.”
“I just swatted a puck out, just a rebound, and I kind of felt like a sharp pain and from there, after that it’s not worth it,” he said.
Johan Hedberg will start for New Jersey in his place. The Devils also called up Jeff Frazee from Albany to play as Hedberg’s backup tonight as Brodeur won’t suit up at all. We’re sure that Sean Avery will be disappointed that he won’t get to whisper sweet nothings in Marty’s ear tonight.
In Buffalo, things are a bit sketchier for Ryan Miller. Miller missed the Sabres previous game against the Bruins and it appears that he’s not going to play at all this weekend either missing tonight’s game against Montreal and Saturday’s against Toronto. Bill Hoppe tweets that the Sabres say Miller is out for this weekend’s games.
For the Sabres, being without Miller is a huge problem as was shown in their 5-2 loss to the Bruins that saw Jhonas Enroth get chased from the game. Patrick Lalime hasn’t been a solid backup option for Buffalo playing poorly when he has started. Any hopes of seeing the Sabres right the ship this weekend took a big hit with Miller’s news. The pressure is now on the offense to step up and try to help either Enroth or Lalime 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.