February 18 practice quotes: Mike Richards - LA Kings Insider

On what has influenced the power play improvement:
“I think the big thing is just the work that we’ve done on it. We’ve run through at least twice a week in practice where everyone’s going to be or what kind of plays we need to have. When you have that – I know where Drew’s going to be 90% of the time. I know where Kopi’s going to be and so on. So I think having that awareness on the ice obviously helps out a lot. You don’t always have to look and think of where people are going to be. You can think and then take a quick peek more so than seeing where everyone is. [Davis Payne] has done a good job of showing us what they’re going to do before the game, and what’s going to work. Even though we haven’t scored in some games, I still think we’ve had some opportunities to score [and] some good looks.”

On what percentage of the power play is instinct and feel versus actual set plays:
“I’d say 98% instinct, 2% set plays. I think you have positions, soft positions that you’re going to be. The rest is filling holes, finding open ice and seeing shots, seeing passes. At the end of the day, it’s just executing your passes and your shots and your break-ins and stuff like that. You look at the best power plays in the league, they have guys that have been there together the longest. When you have that, obviously, it helps.”

On the team’s improvement in entering the attacking zone with the puck:
“That’s what Payner does for us, is show us…and tell us what’s going to work, and if we go through that first one and don’t have success, we’ll talk about it after the first intermission and see what they’re going to do again or see what they’re doing differently, and what we can do differently. Sometimes it’s just minor routes [where] Jeff goes to the middle instead of staying wide, or I go to the middle…it’s just minor things usually, but it does help.”

On what has caused the dip in faceoff success this season:
“I think playing on the road as many games as we have is something that affects faceoffs in a major way, to be honest with you. It’s not an excuse – it is something that affects faceoffs. I know I like to put my stick down last on faceoffs, and to be honest, you can cheat a little bit more when you’re at home because you do have that last move. It definitely plays a factor on it. I know for me when Jeff was on my line, he’s taking it strong side. I’m taking it my strong side. So when you’re always on your strong side, that helps. When we went away from that a little bit – you go through five games without even taking a forehand faceoff – and now all of a sudden you’re thrown in there and have to take a couple of them. I think just getting into a groove and playing on the road, I think that’s probably the biggest thing.”

On chemistry with Jeff Carter, and his interchangeability between center and wing:
“For us, I think it affects the puck possession. I guess, when you’re taking faceoffs on your strong side every time, you’re going to win more so than not. Over the past couple months this year and last year, minus the time that we spent apart, we’ve talked a lot about where we’re going to be on the ice and…try to get [him] at center ice. When he’s playing wing, we have to try to get him at the center of the ice with more speed. Whether this interchanges for me to go to wing – but just try to keep our speed up – I think is the biggest thing, and get him the puck in the middle of the ice is something that we obviously want to try to do as much as possible, because he has success at that.”

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Jake Muzzin

#6 | 6′ 3″ | 216 lb | Age: 27

Born: Feb 21, 1989
Birthplace: Woodstock, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Left


Muzzin was drafted in 2007 by the Pittsburgh Penguins, before signing to the Kings in 2010. He has since become the first Woodstock, Ontario professional athlete to win a major sports trophy.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.