Mike Richards wasn’t in Los Angeles for some of the Kings’ offensive struggles last season. He was in Philadelphia, where the Flyers scored the third-most goals per game and ranked No. 11 in goals-against per game. Today, Richards was asked what the Kings need to do to “get things turned around’’ on the offensive side, and preached patience and talked about how the game can seem easier at times than others.
RICHARDS: “I wouldn’t say we have to turn it around. It’s two games in a row and one in overtime. I think, just coming back home, you sometimes have a little bit of a letdown after a long, tough stretch, and you take the foot off the gas a little bit. We just have to understand that we have to take advantage of our home games when we have them, and play just as hard, if not harder, than we do on the road.’’
Question: Justin Williams talked about the need for creativity. Do you agree, and what does that mean to you?
RICHARDS: “Offensively, you can’t force it. It’s just going to come. You can’t squeeze your stick too tight, because then you’re going to be over-thinking it. You just have to let it happen. As easy as it is to say, you just can’t put too much pressure on it. When you start cheating, you start having problems. As long as we stick with the system, we’ve got some players who are going to make plays and get some goals. Just stick with the system, believe in it, trust it and eventually it’s going to come.’’
Question: How much of it is just bad luck sometimes?
RICHARDS: “It’s funny how, at some points in the season, the net looks like a soccer net and sometimes, when things aren’t going well, it looks like a mini-hockey net. We’ve just got to stick with it. It’s going to happen, games where the puck is just going to end up on your stick, and some games, like last night, where it’s just going to be that foot off. So it’s not a matter of changing anything. It’s just a matter of sticking with it, being positive, not gripping the stick too tight and just let it happen.’’