CSNPhilly.com’s Tim Panaccio has a simple explanation for why the Philadelphia Flyers are down 2-1 in their semifinals series against the New Jersey Devils: a lack of fire. Most specifically, Panaccio sees a gap in intensity between the way they are performing against the Devils compared to the chaotic series against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Danny Briere agrees.
“As a team, we just haven’t used or played with enough emotion and passion as we had in the first round against Pittsburgh,” Briere said. ““If we thought they were just going to let us win, then we had the wrong mindset and we deserve to lose, there’s no doubt about that.”
Of course, they also aren’t in the same hockey track meet like they were against the Penguins, which Jaromir Jagr points out in his own assessment of the Devils series so far.
“You gotta understand that every series is kinda different,” Jagr said. “It all depends who you play against. They’re a tight checking team that is pretty strong on the boards. They’re stronger than I thought, that is for sure. I thought we’d handle the boards a little better than we have so far. You never know. You just have to keep fighting … I thought they have been a little bit stronger and faster than us.”
While offense came easily for both the Penguins and Flyers in round one, it’s arguable that Philly was allowed to mask a few weaknesses and maybe grow a little cocky about their scoring prowess. The Devils aren’t likely to yield the same kind of space, so it’s all about being a little stronger and faster going forward.
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.