Florida’s Sean Bergenheim did not face any supplemental discipline from the NHL today for his hit on Mike Richards last night, and the Kings were fine with that. What general manager Dean Lombardi didn’t like, though, was that the Kings ended up with a four-minute penalty kill after teammates stood up for Richards. Bergenheim got only a two-minute roughing penalty, while Richards got roughing and slashing penalties and Jarret Stoll got a roughing penalty. The Kings ended up killing the penalties, but Lombardi was not pleased that the Kings were penalized harshly for their reaction to the hit.
LOMBARDI: “When that scenario ends up in a four-minute power play, I think that’s a real problem. That’s part of the culture of our sport, everything we try to instill, and to have to be subjected to a four-minute penalty kill on that basis, I really struggle with that. And that’s a bigger issue, as to the culture of our game, and not specifically.’’
Officially, the Kings are still calling Richards’ injury an upper-body injury, but Lombardi acknowledged that Richards, after the hit, spent time in the “quiet room’’ mandated for concussion evaluations, and that Richards didn’t return after that and had more tests this morning. Richards is expected to be put on injured reserve, retroactively, tomorrow. Murray said he liked the players’ reaction to the hit on Richards.
MURRAY: “When Richards got hit, that’s the way teams are supposed to respond. They’re supposed to be there for their teammate in a tough situation, and that was determination, I thought, right away. The response was correct.
“The hit was fine. The hit is fine. That’s just a hockey play. There’s a player carrying the puck up the boards and he gets hit. The other one, when it comes over in front of the bench, it’s called. It’s an elbow or a forearm to the head, and they got penalized for that. And that’s where Stolly jumps in and tries to support a teammate. So it was a good, gritty play in that situation.’’
As indicated earlier, Willie Mitchell (lower-body injury) isn’t expected to be put on injured reserve, but Murray did not sound optimistic about Mitchell’s short-term future. Asked about Mitchell and Richards’ status, Murray said, “It’s going to be a few games.’’