David Backes, Jonathan Toews

‘Hawks want payback against Blues after last week’s ‘brutal’ loss


It promises to be an intense affair tonight at the United Center when Chicago takes on St. Louis for the second time in eight days.

Last Wednesday, on NBCSN’s Rivalry Night, the Blues scored in the final minute to beat the ‘Hawks 3-2, a loss Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville called “brutal” and “unacceptable.”

“You’ve got to get that game to overtime,” Quenneville lamented. “You take one (point) maybe two. You don’t get none.”

While the ‘Hawks will want to make amends for that defeat, St. Louis is searching for some atonement of its own.

The Blues lost their first game of the season in ugly fashion on Tuesday night, a 6-2 drubbing at the hands of San Jose that was marred by Maxim Lapierre’s dangerous hit from behind on Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle. The incident seemed to unravel the Blues, as they allowed two goals on the subsequent power play and finished the game out-shot 39-27 (the most they’ve been out-shot all season.)

If there’s good news for the Blues, it’s that Brenden Morrow — shaken up on a boarding hit from Brent Burns on Tuesday — will be in the lineup to face Chicago. He’ll be joined up front by Magnus Paajarvi, who will make his Blues debut by replacing Lapierre in the lineup.

For Chicago, Brandon Pirri will get into the lineup and center the fourth line between Marcus Kruger and Brandon Bollig. Pirri, who led AHL Rockford in scoring last year, will draw in at the expense of Ben Smith.

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.