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Lidstrom on ankle injury: “That sharp pain is not there like it was a week ago”


After missing the last 10 games with an ankle injury — and set to miss game No. 11 tonight — Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom’s finally seeing light at the end of a long recovery tunnel.

“I can pivot better today, skate and push a little bit more,” Lidstrom told “A week ago out in L.A., when I skated out there, it was too sharp of a pain — just that stabbing pain where I couldn’t walk with my skate. That’s a lot better.

“It still hurts turning and pivoting, when I put pressure on that point, but that sharp pain is not there like it was a week ago.”

This is a big development for the Red Wings, who are 3-6-1 without Lidstrom and 1-6-1 over their last eight games. They’re in desperate need of the captain’s return…and the return of defensemen in general. Jonathan Ericsson (wrist) will miss his 11th straight game on Wednesday while Jakub Kindl (upper body) will miss his eighth.

Without those three in the lineup, Detroit head coach Mike Babcock has been forced to use a patchwork blueline. In Monday’s 5-3 loss to Washington, 31-year-old journeyman Doug Janik dressed for just the eighth time this year (and played over 15 minutes) while rookie Brendan Smith made just his 13th appearance and played 17:57, the second-highest ice time of his career.

Understandably, Lidstrom wants back in the lineup.

“It’s always hard sitting on the sidelines, and when the team is not playing well you want to be there to help the team, be a part of the team, be in the locker room,” Lidstrom said. “It’s frustrating when you can’t be a part of that.”

Reports indicate that Saturday’s home date against Carolina could mark Lidstrom’s return to the lineup, though neither Lidstrom or the club would confirm. The seven-time Norris winner did say that trainers are concerned about him rushing back too quickly and suffering a setback.

“You want to get some games in before the playoffs start to get back to game tempo and game situations,” Lidstrom said. “On the other side, you don’t want to get hurt again and take a couple steps backward.

“You want to be careful with it, but you have to test it out, try it, see how it feels.”

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.