Mike Green

Green “a hundred percent” certain he can pile up points next season


Capitals defenseman Mike Green is confident he can rediscover his offensive touch after signing a three-year, $18.5 million extension.

Green, 26, racked up 73 and 76 points in 2008-09 and 2009-10, respectively, leading the league in scoring among defensemen in each season.

But it’s been a struggle since then. Forced to deal with injuries, combined with a coaching staff that implemented a more conservative playing style, Green’s managed just 31 points in 81 games over the last two seasons.

Asked yesterday if he can get back on track, Green didn’t hesitate.

“A hundred percent,” he said in a conference call, “and it’ll be next year.”

Green also sounded optimistic about playing under new head coach Adam Oates, who’s expected to give the Caps a little more freedom to try and create offense than they got under their last bench boss, Dale Hunter.

“What Dale expected was kind of a grinder, chip-in, chip-out kind of game,” Green said. “I respect him as a coach and I played that way and played hard for him. But at the same time I’m excited that Adam is here – actually, really excited.

“From what I heard, how he likes to coach fits my style of play and hopefully a lot of the other guys.”

Nobody could’ve expected Green to produce at the same level he did when the Caps were running and gunning. Alex Ovechkin didn’t. Neither did Alex Semin. Ditto for Nicklas Backstrom.

In fact, it’s still unrealistic to expect Green to score 70-plus points in 2012-13. Washington will undoubtedly open it up, but Oates isn’t about to let the Caps ignore defense completely.

If Green can flirt with the 60-point mark and play reasonably sound defense, he’ll have more than done his job.

Remember, only one defenseman, Erik Karlsson, scored more than 53 points in 2011-12.

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.