Add another one to the list of injured Dallas Stars: Brenden Morrow is expected to miss the next three games with an upper-body ailment.
Morrow suffered the injury during the first period of Monday’s 3-1 win over Edmonton and sat out last night’s overtime win over Los Angeles. Missing the Kings game was expected, but extended time of the shelf wasn’t. Stars head coach Glen Gulutzan initially said “we don’t think he’ll be out too long,” but will now be without his captain for games against Toronto, Phoenix and Colorado.
The injury news is troubling on a couple of fronts. For Morrow, it’s the latest in a season that’s been slowed by ailments — he missed almost the entire preseason with a knee injury and has played 20 games bothered by the inability to get the right fit with his knee brace.
For the Stars, it’s another key contributor out of the lineup. They’re already without Alex Goligoski (broken thumb) and Adam Burish (broken hand), losses that have exposed Dallas’ lack of depth. Tomas Vincour has been forced into a top-six role up front and played 15:49 last night against the Kings, the highest ice-time total of his career.
One positive note for the Stars: Mike Ribeiro is feeling fine today after taking this hit from Kings defenseman Jack Johnson.
Solid hit, but Johnson was guilty of an egregious pinch that led to Steve Ott’s game-winning goal. Remember that lost point should LA and Dallas end up neck-and-neck for playoff seeding come April.
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.”
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?