Cory Schneider #35 of the New Jersey Devils skates to the net during the first period against the New York Rangers in a preseason game at the Prudential Center on September 16, 2013 in Newark, New Jersey.
(September 15, 2013 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America)

Goalie nods: Devils turn to Schneider, Thomas starts in Boston

News and notes from around the blue paint…

Jersey goes with Schneider

After Martin Brodeur’s poor performance in Sunday’s outdoor game loss to the Rangers, the Devils will give Cory Schneider the nod tonight in St. Louis.

Schneider has very good in January, boasting a .956 save percentage with four wins and a shutout — in fact, his only regulation loss this month came back on Jan. 4, a 2-1 defeat in Buffalo.

Schneider will be going up against Jaroslav Halak in the Blues’ goal.

Timmy returns

Tim Thomas will make his second trip back to Boston on Tuesday night, but his first start against the team he led to the 2011 Stanley Cup.

The 39-year-old veteran has been a steadying presence for Florida over the last two months. He posted a .936 save percentage in five December games and has been almost as good in January, sporting a .920 over 10 games (Thomas has been head coach Peter Horachek’s workhorse in goal this month).

Tonight Thomas will go against his former battery mate, Tuukka Rask, in the Bruins’ goal.


Lightning at Maple Leafs: Ben Bishop vs. Jonathan Bernier

Red Wings at Flyers: Jonas Gustavsson vs. Steve Mason

Senators at Blue Jackets: Craig Anderson vs. Curtis McElhinney

Hurricanes at Canadiens: Carey Price for Montreal, no starter yet for Carolina.

Capitals at Sabres: Braden Holtby vs. Jhonas Enroth

Predators at Jets: Carter Hutton vs. Ondrej Pavelec

Kings at Coyotes: Thomas Greiss for Phoenix, no starter yet for L.A.

Blackhawks at Flames: Antti Raanta vs. Reto Berra

Wild at Ducks: Darcy Kuemper (who you can read more about here) vs. Jonas Hiller

Friday’s loss serves as ‘harsh lesson’ for Blue Jackets

Jasper Fast, Nick Foligno, Henrik Lundqvist
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Late in the third period of Friday’s game against the New York Rangers, things were looking good for Columbus.

Brandon Saad, who the team acquired from Chicago this off-season, scored his first goal of the season to give his team a 2-1 lead with under four minutes remaining in the contest.

Unfortunately for the Jackets, that’s as good as it would get.

The Rangers responded with three unanswered goals from Oscar Lindberg, Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello to spoil Columbus’ home opener.

“When something like that happens at the end, I think we’re gonna be a better team because of it,” defenseman Ryan Murray told reporters after the game. “It’s a harsh lesson, but it’s a good one.

Luckily for Columbus, they won’t have to wait very long to try and get their revenge.

The Blue Jackets and Rangers will finish off their home-and-home series at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, which might not be such a bad thing for Columbus.

“It’s good that we get another chance tomorrow,” Saad said after Friday’s game. “We were high on emotions (after the go-ahead goal) and they scored and it took the wind out of our sails, but we have to keep playing. We have to learn to keep doing our thing, regardless of the score.”



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?