Kings grind out 2-1 shootout win against Flames, leaving Calgary’s playoff hopes in trouble

It feels strange to get really negative about the Calgary Flames’ playoff chances tonight, but every loss is going to hurt a team that won’t be able to “control its destiny” like other West teams in the playoff picture.

Sure, the Flames do have the same amount of standings points (85) as the eighth place Anaheim Ducks. Of course, the catch is that the 10th-place Flames only have seven games remaining, while the Ducks (and ninth place Dallas Stars) boast three more opportunities to milk a point or two out of games.

So even though they produced a nice effort in losing to the Los Angeles Kings in a shootout, these might be the type of nights that Calgary looks back on with sadness if they don’t make the postseason. Even if you cannot really fault them for their efforts.

Los Angeles 2, Calgary 1 (SO)

It was a tightly played defensive game, with both goals coming in the closing minutes of the third period. Jarret Stoll scored a rebound goal to give the Kings a 1-0 lead with a little less than six minutes remaining in regulation. It didn’t take long for the Flames to respond, as Olli Jokinen received a nice breakout pass from Steve Staios and tied it up 65 seconds later.

Stoll also scored during the shootout while Anze Kopitar wrapped it up for the Kings in the skills competition. Alex Tanguay was the only Flames player to score in the shootout, roofing it during Calgary’s first shot.

Both goalies were strong when called up. Jonathan Quick made 27 saves for his 31st win of the 2010-11 season while Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 26 shots in a losing effort.

While the Flames teeter toward extinction at 10th place with 85 points in 75 games played, Los Angeles improved its playoff odds greatly. They have 88 points in 73 games played, placing them in fifth in the West. Naturally, their margin of error isn’t very large either, but every little inch of space is preference going down the stretch.

Could we see five teams from the Pacific Division in the playoffs this season? It’s not out of the realm of possibility. It might even be more likely than seeing the Flames play another game beyond April 10th.

Kings GM says Mike Richards went into ‘a destructive spiral’

Mike Richards

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.

… Yeah.

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?

Coyotes exploit another lousy outing from Quick

Jonathan Quick

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.