Two days later, hockey fans in Vancouver are still talking about the game the Canucks played Monday in Los Angeles.
That game, of course, featured all sorts of rough stuff, including Vancouver’s Tom Sestito challenging Jordan Nolan to a fight for taking a run at captain Henrik Sedin. When Nolan wasn’t willing to drop the gloves, Sestito started throwing punches anyway.
Despite the fact the Kings received a seven-minute power play for Sestito’s actions, Canucks coach John Tortorella had absolutely no problem with what happened.
“I didn’t care about the penalties,” Tortorella said today on TEAM 1040 radio (audio). “I even told the team, I don’t care about the penalties. Because if you’re trying to do things the right way to get some of the ice that is yours…you’ll probably end up getting some penalties. But you usually kill those penalties off.”
Tortorella also reiterated his disdain for the instigator rule. And without naming names, he basically called out Nolan for refusing to fight Sestito.
“Something has to happen there too, where this instigator rule and the turtling that goes on in our game, which is just so embarrassing,” said Tortorella.
“We get caught in that, but if Tommy Sestito did that again, I would applaud him. It was the right thing to do. I just think the game has lost a little bit of its honesty and its honor as we’ve gone through here. Quite honestly, a lot of it is because of the way the rulebook is written.”
Related: Sticking up for each other is the new Canucks’ mantra
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.