New York Rangers v New Jersey Devils - Game Six

Assessing Chris Kreider’s impact next season


Following Chris Kreider’s NHL debut, New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella said: “Who knows what happens next year with him?” The team was so excited to sign him that an exec literally camped out to sign Kreider to his first contract, but his role remains a wild card.

Kreider’s boasts impressive size while his speed and instincts were also evident at times during his first playoff run. Overall, Kreider scored five goals and seven points in those 18 contests (including two game-winners) while registering a -4 rating and averaging 13:09 minutes per game. His five goals also broke a record for players who began their careers in the postseason.

It’s unclear how that will translate into a full season of play, although training camp might allow Tortorella a chance to provide some lessons he put off months ago.

“We’re not doing a lot of teaching and a lot of structure with him. It’s just the wrong time,” Tortorella said. “There’s enough things going through his head where we just want him to play. He’s had some breakdowns away from the puck. Those are things we’ve tried to teach a little bit but not too much.”


Offseason report: New York Rangers

Do the Rangers need Rick Nash?

It’s New York Rangers Day on PHT

Kings GM says Mike Richards went into ‘a destructive spiral’

Mike Richards
Leave a comment

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.

Kings GM Dean Lombardi ranks among the NHL’s most outspoken executives. Even so, his discussion of what he calls 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.” (Bold claim: the production part was probably the bigger sticking point.)
  • 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 Lombardi and 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
Leave a comment

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.