Red Wings break skid, but Ducks should turn things around too

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If you wanted to give tonight’s Anaheim Ducks-Detroit Red Wings a cute name, it might have been appropriate to call it “The Worry Bowl.” After Detroit’s dominant 5-0 win, it seems like the Ducks have bigger issues.

The Red Wings snapped their six-game losing streak in a big way, with most of their big guns getting in on the fun. Nicklas Lidstrom earned three points while fellow Swedes Johan Franzen and Henrik Zetterberg got on the board too (maybe that wake-up call worked after all?). Jimmy Howard cruised to a shutout and even the ailing Red Wings power play connected on a single tally.

Meanwhile, things seem to be amiss for Anaheim. They’ve lost five games in a row and an even more troubling eight of their last nine. At some point, the Ducks’ big trio of Corey Perry, Bobby Ryan and Ryan Getzlaf need to surpass their ageless teammate Teemu Selanne if the team wants to camouflage their significant weaknesses.

That being said, the Ducks have reasons for optimism

There are some bright sides to look on for the Ducks, though. They still managed to get a win and three charity points out of that treacherous run. Better yet, the team will enjoy plenty of home cooking: a staggering 11 out of their next 13 contests are at home.


Ultimately, both teams should be fine – to a point. The Red Wings got back on track while the Ducks face a golden opportunity over the next chunk of games. Still, each squad should look at their recent (and in Anaheim’s case, ongoing) struggles as a clear example that they won’t earn wins or score goals based on their reputations alone.

Friday’s loss serves as ‘harsh lesson’ for Blue Jackets

Jasper Fast, Nick Foligno, Henrik Lundqvist
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Late in the third period of Friday’s game against the New York Rangers, things were looking good for Columbus.

Brandon Saad, who the team acquired from Chicago this off-season, scored his first goal of the season to give his team a 2-1 lead with under four minutes remaining in the contest.

Unfortunately for the Jackets, that’s as good as it would get.

The Rangers responded with three unanswered goals from Oscar Lindberg, Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello to spoil Columbus’ home opener.

“When something like that happens at the end, I think we’re gonna be a better team because of it,” defenseman Ryan Murray told reporters after the game. “It’s a harsh lesson, but it’s a good one.

Luckily for Columbus, they won’t have to wait very long to try and get their revenge.

The Blue Jackets and Rangers will finish off their home-and-home series at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, which might not be such a bad thing for Columbus.

“It’s good that we get another chance tomorrow,” Saad said after Friday’s game. “We were high on emotions (after the go-ahead goal) and they scored and it took the wind out of our sails, but we have to keep playing. We have to learn to keep doing our thing, regardless of the score.”



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?