News and notes from around the crease…
Greiss goes again
Thomas Greiss will make his fifth straight start for the Coyotes tonight when they take on the Kings in Los Angeles. Filling in for the injured Mike Smith, Greiss has been good lately — allowing just nine goals while posting a .920 save percentage in his last five games — and has a 1.21 GAA and .962 save percentage in his last two games against the Kings. The Coyotes will need Greiss to be good once again on Wednesday, as they head into tonight’s action with a chance to overtake Dallas for the final wild card spot in the Western Conference.
For Los Angeles, Jonathan Quick will be in goal.
Fasth takes on Ducks
Edmonton’s Viktor Fasth will face his ex-club for the first time on Wednesday, as he’ll get the start when the Oilers take on the Ducks in Anaheim.
Acquired at the trade deadline, Fasth has gone 2-1-1 with Edmonton (2.77 GAA, .899 save percentage) but has sat out the last four games with a neck strain.
Tonight, he’ll be taking on the guy that replaced him in the Anaheim lineup — Frederik Andersen, who will make his third straight start for the Ducks. Anaheim head coach Bruce Boudreau said he’s seen some fatigue in No. 1 netminder Jonas Hiller lately and wants to give him some rest, thus explaining Andersen’s string of consecutive appearances.
Isles at Sens: Anders Nilsson vs. Craig Anderson
Bruins at Red Wings: Tuukka Rask vs. Jimmy Howard
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.