A day after Ray Whitney scored his first goal(s) of the season via a hat trick, Marian Gaborik did just the same … and he didn’t even need an empty net to earn his third one. As you can see from the video, Gaborik scored one somewhat ugly goal to start things off and then capped his night with two beautiful breakaways to earn the hat trick. He also had an assist, giving him an excellent four-point day.
Gaborik wasn’t the only New York Ranger who stood out in the team’s beating of the woeful Edmonton Oilers, though.
NY Rangers 8, Edmonton 2
Alex Frolov also produced four points in this game, scoring two goals and two assists. Artem Anisimov and Ruslan Fedetenko also scored goals for the Rangers this afternoon.
Amazingly enough, the Oilers actually had a 2-1 lead at one point in the game. After giving up Gaborik’s first goal, Ryan Jones and Shawn Horcoff scored for Edmonton. That one ray of light must be hard to remember after allowing seven unanswered goals, though.
The Oilers have just been atrocious on defense and in net, most disturbingly with Nikolai Khabibulin between the pipes. He allowed 6, 7 and 8 goals in his last three games. Overall, the Oilers are 2-9-3 since starting the season 2-0. The only good news is that their five-game road trip is over.
Meanwhile, the Rangers are just plugging along. After dropping two games in a row, New York put together two straight wins. Martin Biron won those two games, although it’s probably important to note that those wings came against two of the worst teams in the league (Edmonton and Buffalo). Still, these small stretches are the reason you add a solid veteran like Biron.
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.