Going into the Olympic break, the Los Angeles Kings had just a four-point cushion in the fight for a playoff spot and had won just two of their last 11 contests.
It looks like a trip to Sochi was the perfect cure though. Dustin Brown has turned his season around since he was benched while playing for the United States and Jonathan Quick has a 1.00 GAA and .956 save percentage following his service as America’s goaltender.
The two of them have helped lead the Kings to an eight-game winning streak, with seven of those victories coming after the Winter Games. At this point the Kings’ playoff spot is all-but secured, but they have a chance to make some history when they play the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight.
Los Angeles is within striking distance of its franchise record nine-game winning streak. They could also hand coach Darryl Sutter his 500th victory on his first attempt.
Sutter is set to become the 18th coach to ever reach that milestone, although he chose to downplay the potential accomplishment.
“I think in today’s game the most important part is percentages,” Sutter told LA Kings Insider. “You get extra points now. You get one point, so it’s way more important.”
For what it’s worth, Sutter’s points percentage (points divided by the maximum possible) is at .563, which is good for 35th place on the all-time list among bench bosses that coached at least 200 games. He’s also tied for 11th place with 72 playoff wins.
The Los Angeles Kings announced today that they have “reached an agreement with Mike Richards to resolve the grievance filed in relation to the termination of his NHL Standard Players Contract. The terms are agreeable to all parties.”
The club said that it will not be commenting further “on the terms” of the settlement.
The NHLPA released a similar statement.
It was reported earlier in the week that a settlement was close to being reached; however, it wasn’t clear what salary-cap penalties the Kings would incur.
We’re starting to find out some details now:
How the final numbers differ from what the Kings would have incurred if they’d bought Richards out will be interesting to see. And if there are differences, how will they be justified?
Aaron Ward, a 16-year NHL veteran that appeared in over 800 career games, has been arrested for “assault on a female,” per WNCN.
Ward was arrested on Friday in Cary, North Carolina and also charged with interfering with emergency communication, according to the report.
Currently working as an analyst for TSN, Ward spent five years of his career in Carolina, helping the ‘Canes capture the Stanley Cup in 2006.
Update: Per WRAL, Ward’s wife called 9-1-1 after the two had a confrontation around 1 p.m. ET. Police confirmed Ward was arrested at his home in Cary.
According to the warrant for his arrest, he took away his wife’s phone.
Because of the nature of his charges, Ward will spend a mandatory 48 hours in the Wake County jail. Anyone arrested on a domestic violence charge is held for 48 hours before bail is set.
And here’s a statement from TSN: