Richards: “We have to take it to the net a little bit harder”
Mike Richards spoke with LA Kings Insider following the team’s morning skate at Toyota Sports Center and offered a reaction to the shootout loss to Minnesota in which Los Angeles dominated teritorially and put up at least 40 shots for the second consecutive game but was unable to solve goaltender Darcy Kuemper more than once. He also spoke about the challenges in facing the Boston Bruins.
On what he took from the 2-1 shootout loss to Minnesota:
I think we have to start taking pucks to the net more in-zone. I think we’re getting the puck in-zone and we’re moving it well and getting the puck to the zone very well, but we’re making plays on the outside. When you do have that guy beat, I think we have to take it to the net a little bit harder. That’s when you’re going to create more and find those loose pucks in front of the net.
On whether the perception that the Kings are a similar team to the Bruins is valid:
I think so, if you just look at their lineup on paper. There are a lot of similarities there. I think the two coaches coach similar styles of hockey. I know playing against them a couple years ago, I don’t think too much has changed. Maybe a couple minor tweaks, but they’re a team that plays hard, is a big team that is tough to play against. It’s hard to say that about ourselves, because you’re playing instead of watching, but from the scouting staff and what we kind of think of ourselves as a team, I think that’s pretty accurate.
On facing Zdeno Chara:
Well, he’s on the ice a lot, so you have to…know where he is, and he’s a tough guy to play against. He’s got a long reach. He’s obviously really strong. Most players kind of top off whenever they get to his age, but he’s still getting better, and he’s making plays. He’s got a good shot. He’s probably one of the toughest guys to play against in the league, from my perspective anyways.