January 31 morning skate notes, O'Connell on Richards' debut - LA Kings Insider

Good morning from the team hotel in Boston, where we’ve returned from the morning skate and removed our heavy jackets.


Clifford – Kopitar – Brown
King – Carter – Toffoli
Gaborik – Stoll – Lewis
Nolan – Shore – Williams

Muzzin – Doughty
Regehr – Martinez
McNabb – Greene


-The fine print: Because Bruins media availability went long, I relied on line rushes from an associate with FOX Sports West. The groupings checked out when the team went through a second round of line rushes late in the skate, though Jordan Nolan remained on the ice for extra work with Jamie McBain, Andy Andreoff and Martin Jones. There will not be an “A” grade in the Level of confidence in projected lines. Jonathan Quick left the ice first at the morning skate and is expected to draw the start in net.

-Kings Senior Advisor / Development Coach Mike O’Connell was in Manchester last night and took in Mike Richards’ Monarchs debut, which came in a 3-1 win over the Portland Pirates. Richards, wearing number 18, skated on a line with a pair of Yalies in Brian O’Neill and Sean Backman – no player on that line stands taller than Richards at 5’11 – and registered two shots on goal and a hooking minor.

“He played well,” O’Connell said. “It was a good spirited game. It was a really good game. Kind of sloppy at times, but both teams were up and down, it was good action. He played well.”

O’Connell said he spoke with Richards “briefly, before the game.”

“He was in good spirits. The players get along, it was really good – like we expected to handle it, professionally handle it.”

When asked if Richards approaches his stature with the team similarly to how Jeff Schultz approached his role last year – as a mentor for several younger players, including defensive partner Colin Miller – O’Connell noted that Richards has only played one game, and because of the recent snow the practice schedule had been thrown off, limiting his on-ice sessions with his new teammates. O’Connell reinforced that the veteran played well last night.

O’Connell, on whether he noticed any “sulking”:
We didn’t see anything of that. The coaches spoke very highly of him. It’s hard, but he played really well.

O’Connell, on what situations Richards played in:
He played all situations. [Reporter: PK and power play?] I’m not so sure, there wasn’t that many penalties, whether he killed penalties or not but he probably did.

-There’s a nice pass from Richards to Colin Miller at the 50-second mark.