There isn’t likely to be any self-satisfaction creeping into Mike Richards’ mind today, but if he ever encounters any, all he needs to do is flash back to June 9, 2010, when Richards and the Philadelphia Flyers lost Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals, and the series, to the Chicago Blackhawks. The Blackhawks celebrated on the Flyers’ home ice as Richards (and Jeff Carter) looked on, dismayed. It’s a feeling that has stayed with Richards, along with players such as Carter, Matt Greene and Jarret Stoll (and Rob Scuderi, who lost in the Finals before he won). It’s not a feeling that any of those players want to repeat.
RICHARDS: “It is motivation. That’s probably one of the worst feelings I’ve had in hockey, in my hockey career. That was the worst I felt on the ice. It’s not a pleasant sight. If you can’t get motivated by something like that, you probably don’t want to be on our team. That was a tough time. I still think about that and what could have been. But, like Jeff (has) said, it’s something that drives you, something that pushes you a little bit more on the ice, not to have that feeling again.’’
Now, Gagne joins the list, and becomes the ninth Kings player to have previously played in the Stanley Cup Finals. Gagne has 105 games of NHL playoff experience, most of any Kings player, with 37 goals and 22 assists.