Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area reports San Jose head coach Todd McLellan will be behind the bench on Tuesday when the Sharks host the Oilers.
McLellan, who hasn’t coached since being struck with a stick and collapsing on Feb. 26 — he was later diagnosed with a concussion — said his health had improved and that he was excited to return.
“I feel much better after practice today than I did a couple days ago when I ran a practice, came off the ice, and didn’t feel good at all,” McLellan said. “I’m looking forward to it.”
The Sharks are probably looking forward to McLellan’s return as well. The team looked listless under assistant coaches Jay Woodcroft and Matt Shaw, going 1-2-0 while scoring just twice, moving them to 2-7-1 over their last 10. As a result, San Jose now finds itself in the unique position of fighting for its playoff life, sitting eighth in the Western Conference with 73 points. The Sharks haven’t been anything lower than the fifth playoff seed since the lockout and have won four straight Pacific Division titles.
McLellan hopes his return sparks the team, but doesn’t want it to be the lone catalyst.
I hope I’m not the boost. I hope the boost comes from within the locker room,” he said. “Watching the team play against St. Louis from a distance, it looked like we lacked a lot of energy and drive. That’s got to be back in the team’s toolbox, if you will, come this Edmonton game.
“I expect that everybody’s refreshed and ready to go. Whether I’m part of it or not, shouldn’t make a difference. They should have that and be prepared to apply it.”
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.