Last night’s Pens-Caps game from Pittsburgh not only generated a lot of talk because of Arron Asham’s take-down and taunting of Jay Beagle, but also thanks to Alex Ovechkin’s big words after the game calling out Asham for his tactics.
Leave it to Asham to not leave well enough alone with the day’s hot-button topic, according to CSNWashington.com’s Chuck Gormley.
Asham declared that the “rivalry is back” between the Capitals and Penguins and that Ovechkin is a “hypocrite” for what he said relating to the situation. Those are some big words coming from a part-time enforcer and full-time grind line player like Asham.
This is nothing new in the grand scheme of things. One guy does something the other team doesn’t like at all and the opposing team responds to the verbal quips in kind. The talk of the Pens-Caps rivalry being “back on” is a bit surprising on its own since… We had no idea it was actually off.
It’s not like this is Red Wings-Avalanche in the grand scheme of things, the Pens and Caps are still as cutthroat as ever. Just think to last spring when Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke caught Ovechkin with a questionable knee-on-knee hit. The blood boiled over just as much then as it is now. If you thought these two Eastern superpowers had gone quietly into that good night, you’ve been paying attention to the wrong people.
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.