It’s hard to be upbeat about a 1-7-0 team, but there is at least one player on the Philadelphia Flyers that has more than pulled his weight.
Steve Mason has been superb so far with a 2.37 GAA and .924 save percentage in six starts. Of course, he also has a 1-5-0 record because the Flyers typically only give him a single goal of support.
“He’s been everything to us this year,” Wayne Simmonds told CSN Philly. “He’s standing on his head every single game, keeping us in the game, making every single save he can make and it sucks for him because we’re not supporting him on the other end.”
On the one hand, this could be spun as another negative as the Flyers are squandering Mason’s strong start to the season, but after the goaltending issues Philadelphia has endured in recent years, having that be an area of strength has to be encouraging. After all, the Flyers have no shortage of offensive weapons, even if there’s little evidence of that this season. Should the Flyers’ offensive stars finally wake up, then Philadelphia could start to look like a well rounded team.
For his part, Mason remains confident. He has plenty of experience playing on losing squads and he doesn’t think the Flyers will be one of them in the long run.
Philadelphia is currently in the early stage of an unusual week-long gap between games. They will host the New York Rangers 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.