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Sharks brace for frenzied final two months


CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz caught up with some Sharks players to get their thoughts on San Jose’s down-the-stretch schedule. The Sharks will play 32 games in 59 days over the final two months, which includes a nine-game road trip and six back-to-backs.

“It’s the way the schedule is. We got to be at home for Christmas and New Year’s, and now we’re paying the price for it,”defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic said. “It’s the way the scheduling goes. Other years we’ve had it packed at the beginning, and this year it’s packed at the end.”

/muffled laughter

On Sunday, the Sharks will embark on a nine-game, 14-day road trip, becoming just the 19th team in NHL history to embark on a roadie of nine games or longer. (The Blackhawks recently became the 18th and they’re still in the midst of theirs, off to a dismal 0-2-1 start.)

San Jose will start its trip in St. Louis before going to Washington, Tampa Bay, Carolina, Detroit, Columbus, Toronto, Nashville and Minnesota. The Sharks will play the Blues-Capitals, Lighting-Hurricanes and Predators-Wild in back-to-back situations.

While the trip sounds awful (mostly because it is), Sharks head coach Todd McLellan says he doesn’t want to hear about how tough it’ll be on his club.

“I don’t want to hear about it anymore. I want our group to come to the rink and get prepared to play one game at a time,” he said. “The part that I was really worried about was the part before All-Star break, when we played nine games in 15 days. We’ve slowly caught up, and we should be able to handle ourselves.”

The mammoth road trip isn’t the only scheduling nightmare for McLellan and Co. The Sharks have a four-game roadie in mid-March (Dallas, Phoenix, Edmonton and Calgary with the final two games being — yep, you guessed it — back-to-backs) and close out the year playing four of six away from HP Pavilion.

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?

Coyotes exploit another lousy outing from Quick

Jonathan Quick

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.