Frozen Royalty: Los Angeles Kings Need Early-Season Version Of Mike Richards To Return
The headline says it all. Mike Richards needs to be better. It’s an especially tough pill to swallow when you see how good Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds are playing this year. Here’s the article from Gann Matsuda with some quotes and notes.
LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — With an assist on Dustin Penner’s goal at 17:46 of the second period, giving the Los Angeles Kings their final margin of victory in a 3-1 win at Tampa Bay on Tuesday night, center Mike Richards ended an eight-game point scoring drought.
Richards’ performance in this game may have been his best since returning to the lineup after missing eight games due to a concussion that he suffered on December 1, 2011, when the Kings handed the visiting Florida Panthers a 2-1 defeat.
But since returning on December 22 (a 3-2 shootout win against the Anaheim Ducks at Staples Center in Los Angeles), Richards has been a mere shell of his former self.
Indeed, Richards was the Kings’ best skater until he went down with the concussion, having scored eleven goals with nine assists for twenty points, with a +3 plus/minus rating in 25 games. Add to that his solid defensive and special teams play, Richards was easily the Kings’ most valuable skater.
But since his return from the concussion, Richards has not been able to reach that same level of play. In fact, after a hot start, scoring a goal in each of his first two games after being activated from injured reserve, he has scored just three goals with three assists for six points in 22 games.
Read the rest on Frozen Royalty.