When Vancouver defenseman Dan Hamhuis went out with a concussion on March 26, many worried that having him suffer his second one this season that he’d have some trouble in recovering and getting back into the Canucks lineup.
With many people worrying about how much time a player needs to take off to be able to recover from a concussion, we’re left to wonder if perhaps Hamhuis is made of sterner stuff than a regular human. Hamhuis’ recovery is going well and he’s again skating with the team.
Things are going so well for Hamhuis that he’s aiming to perhaps play in the Canucks final game of the year to get him warmed up and ready to go in the playoffs.
Hamhuis practised with the Canucks on Thursday for the first time since being concussed in a March 26 game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Hamhuis hopes to play Saturday when the NHL-leading Canucks wrap up their regular season against the Flames in Calgary.
“Things have been going really well,” Hamuis said. “If they continue to go that way it would be great to get a game in before the playoffs. I have been feeling good for a while and have been symptom free for a while. All the workouts and skating have gone really well so far.”
That grumbling you hear is coming from every other team in the Western Conference playoffs.
Getting Hamhuis in the lineup along with other recent returnee Alex Edler helps make the Canucks that much more formidable along the blue line and looking more like the big, nasty team that dominated play all throughout the season. Hamhuis’ presence as a defensive defenseman and Edler’s as an all-around threat helps make Vancouver that much better.
Vancouver has been relying on a host of players from the AHL to help steady things while they’ve dealt with various injuries. Suffice to say, Hamhuis and Edler make for major upgrades to their blue line corps and makes Vancouver an even more difficult team to match up against in the playoffs. Just what the top team in the Stanley Cup playoffs needed… To be even better.
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.