We’ve all seen David Steckel’s collision with Sidney Crosby during the 2011 Winter Classic that left the Penguins’ superstar sidelined with a concussion. In fact, we’ve all seen it over and over and over. It’s basically the Zapruder film of the NHL, except with multiple angles.
I still have no idea if Steckel meant to make contact with Crosby or not. I’ve leaned towards Don Cherry’s theory that it was intentionally unintentional, though not malicious. Which is the same way I saw Wojtek Wolski’s hit on Daniel Alfredsson. But maybe that’s because I used to do stuff like that when I played. “I’m going to keep skating in a straight line, and if you get in the way, that’s your own fault.”
As Crosby gets closer to returning (possibly this Friday), Steckel continues to claim his innocence.
“I’m sure for as many people who thought it was an accident there are as many people who think it was intentional,” he said, as reported by Sportsnet’s Mike Brophy. “Obviously people who are with me say they think it was an accident, whether they actually believe that or they’re just trying to make me feel better.”
If Steckel’s telling the truth, you have to feel for the guy. Being accused of something you didn’t do is bad enough when it’s just one person doing the accusing, not thousands. Millions even. There’s nothing he can do about it either. People are going to buy his story or they aren’t.
Kings GM says Mike Richards went into ‘a destructive spiral’
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.
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.