Switzerland to start Berra, not Hiller, against Sweden

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For the second straight game, Sweden won’t be facing the opponent’s No. 1 goalie.

According to multiple sources (here, here and here), Switzerland will start Reto Berra against the Swedes on Friday, putting Jonas Hiller — who recorded a 21-save shutout against Latvia in the Olympic opener — in a reserve role.

Berra, 27, is in his first NHL season with Calgary and has played quite a bit, going 8-16-2 with a .896 save percentage and 3.02 GAA. But he’s clearly the second-best goalie on the Swiss roster, as Hiller has performed extremely well with Anaheim this season and for the national team in the past, including several quality outings at the ’10 Games in Vancouver.

As mentioned above, the decision to start Berra could have something to do with the opponent.

Sweden looks to be the powerhouse of Group C and jumped out to a commanding 4-0 lead on the Czechs on Wednesday en route to a 4-2 victory. In that game, Czech head coach Alois Hadamczik opted to scratch Winnipeg goalie Ondrej Pavelec, only to later confirm that Pavelec was the team’s No. 1 goalie and was simply “rested” to adjust to the time zone change.

(A dubious claim, to say the least. Pavelec will play against Latvia on Friday.)

It’ll be interesting to see how Berra fares against the Swedes. He has shown an affinity for thriving in games with high shot totals — he stopped 42 of 44 in a win over Chicago and 43 of 47 against Winnipeg in a pair of wins earlier this season.

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.