PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Martin St. Louis wore a visor for the first time in his NHL career on Thursday night, but that’s not the big news. Sadly, the Tampa Bay Lightning believe the blurred vision he’s experiencing in his left eye might just be permanent. (St. Petersburg Times.)
Pierre LeBrun provides a collection of possibilities if the old trading cat is out of the bag. (ESPN)
Interesting stuff from The Contrarian Goaltender: how both team and individual effort might have affected Grant Fuhr’s stats in the Edmonton Oilers’ heyday. (Brodeur is a Fraud)
The Calgary Flames react to the addition/return of Michael Cammalleri and the loss of Rene Bourque. (Calgary Herald)
The Pittsburgh Penguins are falling fast and are far from healthy. With six goals scored during their six-game losing streak, the burden to close the door falls to Marc-Andre Fleury. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
On pace for a career-low 18 goals, Patrick Kane hopes to regain that “elusive scoring magic.” (Chicago Tribune)
Joe Haggerty wonders if the Bruins-Canadiens rivalry has lost “its snap,, crackle and pop.” Hopefully you already had breakfast this morning. (CSNNE.com)
Looking at what life might look like for the Anaheim Ducks once the sad day comes when Teemu Selanne decides to retire. (OC Register)
Mike Heika reports that there’s some concern that a suspension might follow Brenden Morrow’s hit on Anze Kopitar. (Dallas Morning News)
Ken Hitchcock was pleased with what he saw on Thursday even though the Vancouver Canucks beat the St. Louis Blues in overtime last night. (Jeremy Rutherford)
Jason Arnott scored both of the Blues’ goals, including this odd tally against Roberto Luongo & Co.
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?
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.