David Legwand’s first nine games in a Detroit uniform were pretty good — he scored two goals and five assists, and was getting top-line minutes at center.
The last three games? Not so good.
Legwand is pointless with an ugly minus-6 rating, and Detroit has lost all three while managing to secure just one of a possible six points. For a team in the thick of a playoff chase, that’s not good enough — and that’s partly why Legwand was dropped to the third line, getting just 12:36 of ice time in Thursday’s defeat to Montreal.
“So-so,” is how Legwand described his play with Detroit thus far, per the Macomb Daily. “There is room to improve and be better in certain areas in the game.”
Thursday’s minus-3 effort against was the straw that broke the camel’s back (or, more specifically, broke Legwand.) He’ll reportedly stay down on the third unit for Saturday’s big game against Toronto, skating alongside Daniel Alfredsson and Joakim Andersson.
“We didn’t play very good so we changed things during the game,” head coach Mike Babcock said. “We’re just staying with what we finished with.
“I didn’t think he was great [vs. Montreal] but he was in a club with some other veteran guys that weren’t very good either so you know we weren’t good enough any way you look at it.”
It’ll be interesting to see how Detroit and Legwand respond to this recent poor stretch, as the stakes are pretty high for both right now. The Wings are fighting to extend their postseason appearance streak to 23 seasons while Legwand, a pending UFA, is playing for a new contract.
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.
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?
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.