Kari Lehtonen #32 of the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center on October 3, 2013 in Dallas, Texas.
(October 2, 2013 - Source: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images North America)

Goalie nods: Lehtonen goes for Stars, Zatkoff for Pens


News and notes from around the blue paint…

Timmy’s in town, but Kari starts

Kari Lehtonen will get the start for Dallas tonight against Vancouver, but will do so with a new backup — Tim Thomas.

Acquired from Florida yesterday, Thomas will take the place of the outgoing Dan Ellis (now a member of the Panthers) and, according to head coach Lindy Ruff, will have the opportunity for some playing time with the Stars.

“I want to give Tim the opportunity to play,” Stars bench boss Lindy Ruff said, per the Dallas Morning News. “If he plays well, I’ll give him the chance to play.”

Eddie Lack will get the start tonight for Vancouver. For more on the Lethonen-Thomas situation, click here.

Zatkoff in for Pens

Jeff Zatkoff will be in goal for Pittsburgh tonight when it takes on the Sharks in San Jose.

Zatkoff hasn’t started since Jan. 30 but his last outing was a good one, stopping 30 of 31 shots in a win over the Kings. The former Miami of Ohio standout is 9-2-1 on the year with a 2.64 GAA and .909 save percentage.

Antti Niemi will be in goal for the Sharks tonight — he’s currently in a battle for playing time with Alex Stalock, who has started three times since the Olympic break ended.


Capitals at Bruins: Braden Holtby for Caps (read more here), Tuukka Rask likely for B’s.

Kings at Jets: Jonathan Quick vs. Ondrej Pavelec

Sabres at Lightning: Jhonas Enroth for Buffalo; Anders Lindback likely for Bolts.

Blues at Preds: Ryan Miller for St. Louis; no word yet on a Nashville starter.

Blue Jackets at ‘Hawks: Sergei Bobrovsky vs. Corey Crawford

Avalanche at Red Wings: J.S. Giguere vs. Jimmy Howard

Canadiens at Coyotes: Mike Smith likely for Phoenix; no word on a Montreal starter.

Islanders at Oilers: Evgeni Nabokov vs. Ben Scrivens

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
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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.