Mike Richards pays the cleaning lady and walks Arnold, an ice cream-eating black lab. Jeff Carter’s job is to supply dinner most nights at the beautiful Manhattan Beach house they’ve shared ever since their hockey careers improbably reconnected last winter, just a few months after the Philadelphia Flyers split them apart.
The Flyers traded the good friends in separate deals 30 minutes apart last June, blowing up the core of a Stanley Cup contender. After a stop in Columbus, Carter reunited with Richards in Los Angeles.
They’re linemates and roommates again with the surging Kings, who open the Western Conference finals in Phoenix on Sunday night.
“It’s pretty crazy,” Carter said after Friday’s practice for the Western Conference finals. “I never thought I’d end up here, especially this quick. Obviously I’m happy with how it turned out, and I love the beach, so it’s a perfect fit.”
Carter and Richards acknowledge no grudge toward the Flyers or general manager Paul Holmgren, who dumped his playmaking captain and an elite goal-scorer in two trades that were widely interpreted as indictments of both players’ character, even while both sides denied it.
“I have a lot of friends there, (and) you always wish your friends the best,” Richards said.
GAME 7: Through six games of their NHL Eastern Conference semifinal series, the seventh-seeded Washington Capitals and the No. 1 New York Rangers have alternated wins and losses, and have been tied or within one goal 90 percent of the time. The club that has scored first has won every game in the matchup, and since New York’s 3-1 victory in the opener, the next five games have been decided by one goal – including two that went to overtime.
So when these teams face off once more tonight at Madison Square Garden in Game 7, it is hardly a stretch to figure that the Caps and Rangers will stage another nail-biter.
Whoever prevails will face the well-rested New Jersey Devils in the East finals.