Sounds as though the Red Wings will play this weekend without two of their top nine forwards.
Darren Helm (back) and Mikael Samuelsson (groin) probably won’t be available for Saturday’s season-opening tilt in St. Louis, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Helm tweaked a back muscle last Thursday and hasn’t returned to the ice since. When asked if he’d be available for the Blues game, he replied “probably not.”
“I can’t bend over too well,” he said. “I have to tie my skates before I can skate around. It’s a small injury, but it bugs me quite a bit. I have to make sure I can skate before I go out there.”
Samuelsson suffered a groin strain on the opening day of camp. He described the injury as a “minor, minor thing” but, given he’s 36 and has a history of groin issues (he missed 22 games last year with a similar injury), his status is questionable.
If both players are out, it’ll force Wings head coach Mike Babcock to juggle things a bit.
Samuelsson was set to open on the second line alongside Valtteri Filppula and Johan Franzen, while Helm was going to center the third line between Dan Cleary and Todd Bertuzzi.
Justin Abdelkader seems like the leading candidate to replace Helm, while either Bertuzzi or Cleary is set to jump up to play wing on the second line.
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.