Philadelphia Flyers v New York Islanders

PHT Morning Skate: Where the Flyers hope to not stink during the day


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.

The Flyers have been pretty good this season… Except during day games. They’d better get that turned around quickly this weekend with day games today and tomorrow. (

With Andy McDonald injured again for St. Louis, rookie Jaden Schwartz looks to be the guy to fill the void for the Blues. (Post-Dispatch)

Someone is going to be the guy that gets Sven Baertschi back to junior hockey thanks to getting healthy and Lee Stempniak would rather not be the party pooper. (Calgary Sun)

Winnipeg’s Mark Stuart may be hearing from the league for his head-high hit on Washington’s Marcus Johansson. The hit, of course, went without a penalty. (The Washington Post)

Zach Bogosian, meanwhile, is champing at the bit to get back out there again for the Jets. (Winnipeg Sun)

The Lightning have high hopes for Keith Aulie on the blue line. The Leafs hope that he doesn’t come back to haunt them. (Tampa Tribune)

The Sharks would like to make Detroit’s road trip more miserable. Of course, they need to to stay in the playoff hunt. (

The Islanders named Jay Pandolfo their candidate for the Masterton Trophy. (Islanders)

The Devils signed their possible goalie of the future in Scott Wedgewood to his three-year entry-level deal. (Fire & Ice)

Accused pedophile coach Graham James sees his alleged first victim testify against him for the first time. (Globe And Mail)

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.