SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 21: Dustin Brown #23 of the United States with the puck during the Men's Ice Hockey Semifinal Playoff on Day 14 of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 21, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Bylsma on benching Brown: We went with players who could score


As the United States’ Olympic dream gradually turned into a nightmare, Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown spent more and more time warming the bench.

With America losing to Canada 1-0 in the semifinals, Brown logged just 1:05 minutes in the third period. It didn’t get better for him in the United States’ 5-0 loss to Finland in the bronze medal game as he logged just 4:48 minutes in total, with 1:43 minutes of that coming in the final two frames.

So why was Brown’s role diminished after he logged around 10-15 minutes in each of America’s previous contests?

“We were going with players we thought could score a goal,” U.S. head coach Dan Bylsma said, per Puck Daddy’s Greg Wyshynski.

Certainly Brown isn’t a pure goal scorer, but neither are Ryan Callahan or David Backes, who roughly tripled his ice time against Finland. In fact Brown, who had an ‘A’ on his jersey, finished dead last in playing time for the United States in its final contest of the 2014 Winter Games.

“I’m not happy about it,” Brown admitted to the Los Angeles Times’ Helene Elliott, “but it’s the coach’s job to figure out the best chance to win if that’s what he thinks.

“I’m a player, he’s a coach. That’s how it works.”

Unfortunately for him, this isn’t an isolated incident. After recording at least 20 goals and 50 points in five straight seasons before the shortened campaign, Brown has just 16 points in 58 contests in 2013-14 and has seen his playing time with the Kings dip as well.

There’s still time for him to end his season on a high note and with the Kings still battling for a playoff spot, they could certainly use the boost.

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.