Matt Martin

Some Stats: Matt Martin doesn’t mind playing the body

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Some Stats is a weekly feature that will run every Thursday on PHT. In Some Stats, we look at some stats.

146 – Total hits for Islanders forward Matt Martin, the most in the NHL. Yes, even more than Minnesota’s Cal Clutterbuck (145), the three-time defending champion in the category. The hits stat is one of the more contentious in the NHL…if a debate over hockey stats can ever be considered contentious. Maybe that word should be reserved for arguments that really matter. Like which was better – Knight Rider or Airwolf?  (It’s Airwolf.) The point is, hits are handed out pretty easily in certain buildings, thus the dubious accuracy of the stat.

3 – Total hits for Wild forward Pierre-Marc Bouchard in 34 games. The perfect retort for Clutterbuck in response to those that say his hit totals are inflated. If they were cooking the books in Minnesota, wouldn’t they throw a few hits Bouchard’s way? Even Kyle Wellwood has four hits. He apologized for three of them, but still.

0 – Shutouts for Ottawa’s Craig Anderson. The only goalie with at least 30 starts (there are eight others) without a perfect game. Other notables without a shutout include Corey Crawford, Martin Brodeur, Kari Lehtonen, and Steve Mason. (Mason’s notable because he’s started 21 games. Only Scott Howson is surprised he doesn’t have a shutout.)

.898 – Save percentage for Nashville’s Pekka Rinne in December. Clearly phoning it in now that he’s got his seven-year, $49 million guaranteed contract. These professional athletes… Actually, Rinne was brilliant Wednesday versus Minnesota and he was great in November (he signed Nov. 3), but he’s had his share of forgettable outings the last month. Twice the Predators bailed him out, scoring six goals to the five he allowed. Nashville’s high-powered like that.

1,629 – Career points for Jaromir Jagr. The most of any active player in the NHL. Only six active players boast more than 1,000 career points, the others being Teemu Selanne (1,375), Nicklas Lidstrom (1,131), Daniel Alfredsson (1,049), Jarome Iginla (1,035) and Joe Thornton (1,031). That’s pretty impressive company for Jagr to be leading. He should be booed mercilessly.

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?