Matt D'Agostini, Andrew Ference

Bruins halt Blues’ lofty home points streak


With all the attention that the other streaky Central Division teams were getting, it’s probably easy to ignore what the St. Louis Blues have been doing at home. The Boston Bruins shined a bit of a spotlight on that by beating them 4-2, ending the Blues’ franchise-record 21-game points streak in St. Louis.

Granted, it’s a points streak, not a winning streak. The Blues came into tonight’s game with a dazzling 18-0-3 record in their last 21 games in St. Louis, as they hadn’t lost a home contest in regulation since the Chicago Blackhawks beat them 5-2 on Dec. 3, 2011.

Brad Marchand scored twice while Chris Kelly and Milan Lucic also contributed to the 4-2 win as Tim Thomas edged Brian Elliott.

What this game means

Either way, this could be a nice reset for the Bruins and a test for the Blues.

Boston had been struggling a bit – at least relatively speaking – but beating a team as formidable and defensively adept as St. Louis could help them get back on track. The Ottawa Senators briefly “tied” the Bruins with 72 points tonight but now Boston has 74 and four games in hand.

St. Louis is hitting a tiny rut with recent struggles against the Central Division and two losses in a row. Once the Detroit Red Wings really revved up their home run, it was probably time for the Blues to kiss their division title hopes goodbye, but the young team needs to stay committed to make their thin-margin-of-error style work.

Perhaps they learned a little something from Boston, then, as the Bruins were once a lot like them.

Check out highlights from the game:

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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?