The Kings put Brad Richardson, Michal Handzus and Dustin Brown together last night, and all they did was score two goals that gave the Kings a 2-0 lead.
“I can’t touch it. It’s on fire,” Terry Murray said, with a laugh, about the line.
Murray went on to have high praise for Richardson, who, over the past year, has gone from healthy scratch to fourth-line center to second-line wing, propelled by some injuries, yes, but also his own strong play. Here’s what Murray said today about Richardson’s rise.
MURRAY: “Richarsdon, boy, there’s a story in itself. He doesn’t get into the lineup much last season, I don’t like what I’m seeing. It’s that battle. The dot-to-board game wasn’t there. The heavy play, heavy stick wasn’t there, even on the checking part of the game it wasn’t consistent. But he has battled through.
“He starts off on the fourth line, he sucks it up, playing a few minutes, and gets moved up here and there and responds to the opportunity. Now, you see what happens last night when he’s playing on a higher line on a consistent basis. He came through big time. What a great move he puts on Visnovsky there, to step in from the blue line on Brown’s goal. That’s a play that any world-class player would be able to make. So he’s growing. He’s getting to be a big contributor to our team.”
Richardson talked about his line’s contribution against the Oilers…
RICHARDSON: “It’s obviously a great feeling that you can chip in. I don’t know what happened there, but the chemistry just kind of clicked. Sometimes that’s the way it goes, but we felt we played pretty well and hopefully we can keep going tomorrow night.”
Until lately, Richardson had spent most of this season at center. I asked him if the transition to the left side was fairly seamless for him…
RICHARDSON: “I’d say my natural position is probably center, but when I was in Colorado I played left wing, and I’ve been flip-flopped around throughout my career. I have no problem playing left wing, I’m happy to play it. If I can play higher up on a line, on left wing, I’m fine with that. Wherever I’ll fit in, I’ll play there.”