Darryl Sutter

Sutter says Kings learned lesson after failing to sweep Devils


NEW YORK — You may recall back in 2012 when the Los Angeles Kings had a chance to sweep the New Jersey Devils in the Stanley Cup Final, only to lose Game 4 at Staples Center. The Kings then proceeded to lose Game 5 on the road in Newark, before returning home to close out the series and celebrate their first championship in franchise history.

On Wednesday, the Kings will once again try to complete the sweep in the Cup final, this time at Madison Square Garden versus the Rangers.

So, not surprisingly, Los Angeles coach Darryl Sutter was asked today if there was a difference between the situation two years ago and the one this time around.

“Game 4 was at home [in 2012],” Sutter said. “There was a lot of distraction. I think that was a lesson learned not just for our players but for our whole organization. We were trying to keep our players as a little inner circle, which they still do. But the circle got a little bit of infringement.”

Sutter will obviously be hoping his team can keep its inner circle tight and complete the sweep tomorrow at MSG; otherwise, he’ll have to face questions about not sweeping — which he does not care for — and then if they don’t win Game 5, the questions about pressure will start coming his way — which he does not care for either.

Plus, if the Kings complete the sweep tomorrow, they’ll, you know, win the Stanley Cup.

“Most players, coaches, trainers never get any chance, zero,” said Sutter. “So when you get the opportunity, and I’ve been fortunate to be in quite a few of them, it’s always a testament to the group you have and to understand how tough it is.

“That’s why not many people or teams win it because it’s hard for them to take on the whole challenge of what it is to win and the price you got to pay and the sacrifice you got to make.”

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.