LA Kings general manager Dean Lombardi conducted an interesting Q&A with Darryl Evans of Kings Vision this afternoon. It gets compelling around the 1:10 mark, when Evans asks Lombardi if he saw signs that things were going the wrong way:
That quote again, in case you missed it:
I think a lot of this fallout right now is mental. When you heighten the expectations on a team it’s a whole different mindset, and when you don’t look like you can reach that bar you start wallowing in bewilderment.
You can sense it’s put-up-or-shut-up time as Lombardi’s exhausted nearly all his managerial options. He made a trade deadline deal (Dustin Penner), a blockbuster deal (Mike Richards), swung big in free agency (Simon Gagne), sent a message to the veterans (by waiving Ethan Moreau) and will reportedly replace a player-friendly coach with an authoritarian (Darryl Sutter).
If the Kings fail to turn things around, big questions will have to be asked about the core group of players — because shaking up L.A.’s core is really the only move Lombardi has left.
Flames keep showing life, Stars stumble once again
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.