October 30 media availability: Mike Richards
On whether it’s good to play a rivalry game at home on the second night of a back-to-back:
Yeah, probably. I think last night we probably didn’t play our best, so it’s nice to get right back at it and…try to redeem yourself in some way and really put together a better effort. What better way to do that against a team that’s leading the conference?
On whether the Sharks have any “added wrinkles” compared to last year’s team:
No, I don’t think so. They’ve got a good team. They always have. Even with losing Boyle there – I’m not sure if he’s playing tonight, or not – they still have a great team and a good defense, and obviously big forwards that get the puck to the net very well and see the ice well.
On whether “greasy goals” are the key to opening up the offense’s production:
Yeah, those are the goals that usually get scored. Rarely in a night do you see the tic-tac-toe goals, and I think for the most part, you just have to shoot it on net. I think that’s where we’ve had the most success this year, is just getting the puck to the net and trying to find loose pucks around there.
On ways to reduce Joe Thornton’s effectiveness:
Well, Joe’s a good passer and sees the ice well. I guess if you try to take away his space…probably the biggest thing is not giving him time to make those plays. I know playing with him, he makes some of the passes that you don’t expect him to make. When you have a guy like that, I think if you just take away his time, he doesn’t have the space to see those plays develop.
On whether San Jose has to “make a statement” against the Kings, rather than vice versa:
I don’t know. It might be a little early for ‘statement games,’ but I think whenever you have two teams that have had success, I think it’s always going to be a good game. We’ve played them tough. They’ve played us tough. We’ve had some really good games over the past couple years, and especially last year in playoffs. It’s funny – I don’t know if there’s that hatred for the players. I think it’s more for the team’s standpoint, where you play ‘em so many times, and you have such good games that you want to beat ‘em so bad. I think that’s where that comes from.
On the Los Angeles-San Jose rivalry:
It’s just two good teams. They have good players. We have good players. Good goaltending. Good defense. So it’s a team that matches us really well against us, and we match up well against them, too. I think every time we’ve played, they’ve always been close games. There’s always some hitting. There’s some fights. There’s a little bit of everything. I think that’s why they’re such good games, just because we match up well. We have similar rosters, I think, and when you have similar rosters, you’re always out for a good game, and you have to be ready when you play ‘em.