The Detroit Red Wings have discovered the secret of winning and it’s not having Nicklas Lidstrom back – although that certainly helps – it’s launching 50 shots on goal. That’s what Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward had to deal with in Detroit’s 5-4 victory Saturday.
Although Detroit ended up outshooting Carolina in every period, at one point this game seemed to be locked up for the Hurricanes. Carolina took a 2-0 lead on the strength of quick goals by Jiri Tlusty and Chad LaRose at the start of the first and second periods respectively. Henrik Zetterberg put the Red Wings within one with his 20th goal of the season, but Carolina fired back two power-play goals in under 20 seconds.
With 4:05 left in the second period, Carolina had opened up a 4-1 lead, but they did not enjoy it for long. Zetterberg scored again and Todd Bertuzzi found the back of the net before the end of the frame to allow Detroit to go back to their locker room on a high note.
It was all Detroit after that. The Red Wings outshot Carolina 19-3 in the final 20 minutes. With that in mind, it’s actually a small miracle that Detroit only ended up winning by one goal.
Detroit badly needed a ‘W’ after dropping six straight contests in a row. Their losing streak has all-but officially killed their chances of winning the Central Division title, but the fourth seed is still very much in play. They’ll try and build on Saturday’s success in back-to-back games against the last place Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday and Wednesday.
For Carolina, if they needed any more proof that they were not going to make the playoffs after Friday’s loss, they got it Saturday. Although it’s still mathematically possible for them to make it to the postseason, it would be nothing short of a miracle if they somehow managed to squeeze in.
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.