Montreal Canadiens' Brian Gionta (21) leaps away from a shot on goal as he blocks Tampa Bay Lightning's Ben Bishop (30) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

Bishop: Fans deserve better than Saturday’s showing


Saturday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens wasn’t a disaster for the Tampa Bay Lightning. They earned a point in the shootout loss, but that was due in no small part to goaltender Ben Bishop’s efforts.

“Our timing was off. Our passes were off. Everything was off,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper told the Tampa Bay Times. “It was a good thing Bishop was on because that could have gotten ugly for us quickly.”

Bishop turned aside 20 of 21 shots in regulation time, but he was beaten by Lars Eller in the shootout and none of the Lightning skaters could solve netminder Carey Price.

It was the Lightning’s first home loss since Dec. 7 and Bishop wasn’t happy about it.

“Maybe we thought it was going to be easy after winning all those games before the break, and we just didn’t show up to play,” Bishop said. “We can’t do that in front of our fans. They deserve better.”

That defeat also was a missed opportunity for the team to put some distance between them and the third-place Canadiens while maximizing the ground they gained against the Atlantic Division leading Bruins. Boston lost to the Ottawa Senators last night.

Just five points separate Montreal, Tampa Bay, and Boston in the battle for the division title.

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.