Early in the original Winnipeg Jets days as an NHL franchise, they once posted a 9-57-14 record and yet, in the 33-year history of the Winnipeg Jets/Phoenix Coyotes, they have never endured a goal scoring drought like this one.
The Coyotes have gone an incredible 185:10 minutes without a goal. They’ve been shutout in three straight contests — and four consecutive road games dating back to Feb. 6.
“Nobody wants to go three games without a goal, but it happens and you’ve got to find ways to get through it,” Coyotes captain Shane Doan said, according to the Arizona Republic. “We felt we had some opportunities in the second and third periods. We had a power play that I missed the net on with a one-timer.
“When you’re put out there to score goals and you miss an opportunity like that, that’s a mistake. And we can’t have those. I made it, and it’s been happening too often. It would be nice to get a lucky one, but you have to create your own luck.”
After enduring this streak, Coyotes coach Dave Tippett showed remarkable restraint in a post-game interview.
“It’s no time to get down now,” Tippett said. “We got to keep pushing forward and we got to find some people to get the job done for us.”
The Coyotes three game losing streak has put them in a tie with the San Jose Sharks for the eighth seed in the Western Conference, although the Coyotes have played in one more game.
Their latest setback came at the hands of goaltender Jonathan Quick and the Los Angeles Kings. They’ll have to play them again tonight before heading home to face the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday.
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.