Taylor Hall

Oilers’ Hall: ‘I don’t sense confidence from the team right now’


Mired in a three-game losing streak and sitting 13th overall in the Western Conference, the Edmonton Oilers are a fragile group at the moment.

Just ask Taylor Hall.

“I don’t sense confidence from the team right now,” Hall told the Edmonton Journal following Tuesday’s 4-3 shootout loss in Columbus. “It’s hard to have it when you haven’t been stringing together wins.”

Examples of Edmonton lacking confidence are all over the place — here’s more, from the Journal:

Goaltender Devan Dubnyk has one win in his last seven games and has been on the hook for two or more goals in six of those outings.

The Oilers power play is running at zero for the last three games and they are still waiting for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to find his touch again. He has just one goal in 21 games.

As a team, the Oilers are giving up a league-high average of 34 shots a game and producing a substandard average of 2.36 goals a game.

The next two weeks should prove crucial for the Oilers.

They have four more games left on their season high nine-game road trip — tonight in Detroit, Friday in Nashville, Sunday in Chicago and Tuesday in Colorado — before returning to Rexall for a four-game homestand.

If Edmonton can stay alive in the playoff picture ’til April, they’ll have a chance to make up some ground late in the season.

The Oilers play seven of their final nine games at home, five of which come against Northwest Division opponents.

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.