Here are some of the choicer quotes from the Phoenix dressing room following last night’s 4-3 overtime loss to Los Angeles, a loss that eliminated the Coyotes from the postseason.
That elimination, combined with the cruel nature in which it occurred, led to some pretty heated words from the ‘Yotes in their postgame media scrums — and some pretty interesting conspiracies as well.
“It’s unfortunate, for us especially. They know we don’t have an owner. We don’t have anyone to back us up. For them, I don’t know if it’s an easy way to not make calls, not show up.
“I know they wear the same color jerseys, the refs as the Kings, but they didn’t have to play for them tonight.”
“The calls that were made and not made down the stretch, that just saps the life out of you. They said we’re complaining a lot about calls, but we’re complaining because they’re calls that have to be made in these games.”
“Uncle. Are you fricking kidding me? Uncle. I can’t understand how you miss that [the Brown hit]. They played unbelievable and they beat us. And thank goodness their power-play didn’t score on all those power-plays they were handed, because it could have been really ugly.
“How do you miss that when it’s after the whistle and it’s a knee? How do you possibly miss that? As a player, I get in trouble when I make a mistake. I get in big trouble. I get called out by [the media], I get called out by everybody. I get called out by my coaches, I feel accountable to my teammates.
“I don’t know how you miss it. I don’t understand it. I’m sure they will have a great explanation for it.”
Tippett: “L.A. beat us. That’s what should be remembered, not the refereeing”
Smith on Brown: “If Raffi Torres gets 25 games then he ought to be out forever”
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.