Alex Steen

Get your game notes: Coyotes at Blues

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Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the St. Louis Blues hosting the Phoenix Coyotes starting at 8 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

— The Blues’ Alexander Steen has scored 14 goals (T-NHL lead, Steven Stamkos) in 15 games played over 35 days this season (Oct. 3-Nov. 7, 2013). It took him 54 games and 497 days to net his previous 14 regular-season goals (Dec. 15, 2011-Apr. 25, 2013). The Blues have points in all 12 games when Steen has found the back of the net (10-0-2).

— Steen is riding a career-long, 10-game point streak (10 goals, three assists). With a point tonight, he will match the family record of 11 straight games, accomplished twice by his father, Thomas, who ranks fourth in Jet/Coyotes franchise history in goals (264), first in assists (553) and third in points (817).

— Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock ranks tenth all-time in coaching wins, with 616. Since taking over as the Blues’ boss in Nov. 2011, his club is 6-1-0 vs. Phoenix, outscoring the Coyotes by a 23-11 margin.

— Since the beginning of the 2011-12 season, goaltenders Brian Elliott (STL) and Mike Smith (PHX) lead the NHL with 13 shutouts apiece. During that span, the Blues’ goalie tandem of Elliott (13) and Jaroslav Halak (10, T-7th most) have combined to post 23 shutouts, most of any team in the league.

— The Coyotes have 12 wins in 2013-14, T-3rd most in the NHL. However, only four of those wins have come when leading at the second intermission. They have the league’s most wins when trailing after two periods (3-4-0 record) and when tied after two (5-0-1 record).

— Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk carries an eight-game point streak into tonight’s game. Since 1993-94, the only St. Louis blueliner with a point streak of eight or more games is Shattenkirk’s teammate, Alex Pietrangelo (nine games, in 2011-12).

— The Coyotes and Blues are the only two NHL teams with three defensemen with 10 or more points this season. (PHX: Keith Yandle – 14, Oliver Ekman-Larsson – 13, Derek Morris – 10; STL: Kevin Shattenkirk & Alex Pietrangelo – 12, Jay Bouwmeester – 10). Only the Blackhawks (52) have more combined points from their blueliners this season than the Coyotes (48).

— The Coyotes’ last four wins have all come in a shootout. Since the shootout was instituted before the 2005-06 season, only two other teams have needed it to post four straight wins: the Edmonton Oilers (Dec. 3-15, 2007) and Pittsburgh Penguins (Mar. 21-27, 2011). No team has ever relied on five successive shootouts for wins. (Elias Sports Bureau)

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.