Ron Wilson

Leafs lose ugly enough to inspire “Fire Wilson” chants


Earlier today, PHT’s Jason Brough discussed the Toronto Maple Leafs’ need for 1) James Reimer to have a strong start and 2) Luke Schenn to avoid horrific turnovers.

The Florida Panthers built their 5-3 win off of some blatant failures in each regard as Reimer allowed two goals in 2:21, including one thanks to an absolutely unconscionable whiff by Schenn. (At least Schenn didn’t nail Reimer with his stick when he angrily reacted to the goal, although some Maple Leafs fans might have cheered for it.)

That 2-0 lead was just the beginning of an agonizing loss for the Maple Leafs, who flopped profoundly enough to inspire a “Fire [Ron] Wilson” chant a day after GM Brian Burke gave his fledgling goalies the dreaded vote of non-trade confidence. Don’t feel too bad for Wilson, though; he has a shiny contract extension that means he’ll get some more money (firing or not) and coached his 1,400th game on Tuesday.

A symbolic defeat?

If the Maple Leafs miss the playoffs – and yes, they still have a chance, morbid Buds fans – people might look at this as a microcosm of the season. Times were bad, except for Phil Kessel’s top line, as the American sniper scored goal No. 32.

(One thing that wasn’t typical, though: Nikolai Kulemin actually found the net.)

Wilson sad: a gallery of depression

To make some laughter lemonade out of this lemon of a performance, check out this gallery of unhappy Ron Wilson photos – which may or may not make Maple Leafs fans feel better.

source: AP(Feb. 18, 2012)

source: AP(Jan. 31, 2012)

source: AP(Nov. 13, 2010 – is that cheating?)

source: AP(Cheating again, March 2, 2010 but you’re not complaining right?)

source: AP(Hey look, he’s almost smiling … June 14, 2010)

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
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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.