It’s fair to say that Mike Richards has found a comfort zone with the Kings. Richards had only two goals in his first 14 games with the Kings, but now has nine goals in his last 10 games, for a team-leading total of 11 goals. Of course, no player can maintain that torrid scoring pace, but it is an indication that Richards is feeling more comfortable with his teammates after coming over from the Philadelphia Flyers during the summer. Richards got a goal Monday in his first game back on a line with former Flyers teammate and linemate Simon Gagne. Richards has scored at least one goal in eight of his last 10 games.
RICHARDS: “It happens throughout the year. Some games you can’t find it. Sometimes you feel like you’re playing with a golf ball and sometimes it feels like you’re shooting at a soccer net. There’s ups and downs to a season. You’re not going to go a whole season with getting bounces and having luck. You’ve got to battle through those bad times and try to take advantage of the good times.’’
Question: It had been a while since you played with Gagne, but did it feel like the chemistry picked right up again?
RICHARDS: “Yeah, I think so. You could tell, even in practice, that we were reading off of each other and knowing where each other are. In the game the other day, we had a lot of scoring chances, so it’s nice to play with a guy who I’ve had some chemistry with and some success with in the past. I think we’ve still got that chemistry, and we just have to feed off it.’’
Question: At this point, almost two months into the season, are you at the point now where you feel comfortable being on the ice when any of your teammates?
RICHARDS: “It’s just a lot easier now. Before, it was kind of a feeling-out process, getting to know the guys. Now, you know everyone’s personalities, their game, their style, and you know where everyone is on the ice, pretty much. You can always get better, playing with somebody, but at the same time, it’s comfortable.’’