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Sutter says “everybody is way too critical” of Mike Richards

Feb 13, 2012, 6:21 PM EDT

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With just 28 points in 49 games, Los Angeles Kings center Mike Richards has seen his fair share of critics this season.

Not among those critics? His head coach, Darryl Sutter.

“I think that everybody is way too critical of Mike Richards,” Sutter told Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider. “What he brings is not just measured in statistics.’’

That quote is probably music to Richards’ ears, because his statistics have been lousy since Sutter came on board. Richards has just eight points in his last 22 games while going goalless over his last 12 — not the numbers one expects from a two-time 30-goal man that spent two years in Philadelphia scoring at a point-a-game clip.

That said, Richards recently displayed the intangibles Sutter was talking about after being put on a line with rookie wingers Dwight King and Jordan Nolan. Richards had five shots against the Islanders on Saturday, then assisted on Nolan’s game-winning goal in a 4-2 win over Dallas on Sunday, providing playmaking and leadership for a pair of kids with 10 games of combined NHL experience.

But for all that Richards gave the youngsters, they provided something he’s lacked this season — space.

“After the game against the Islanders, Richards noted how King and Nolan opened up space on the ice with their work ethic,” Hammond writes. “Richards excels when given that space. It’s not unfair to question whether playing with Dustin Penner wasn’t allowing Richards to have that space. “

So, to recap: 1) Everybody is way too critical of Richards, and 2) Everybody is justly critical of Captain Pancake.

  1. phillyphever - Feb 13, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    3) Flyers made out like bandits in that deal with Simmons and Schenn. Thanks again LA.

  2. joeypucks - Feb 13, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    Dick Richards is just that, this is Karma coming back around for all his cheap shots on the Lady Bing type players. This loser almost ended Booth’s career. He would never try that on guys like Lucic or similar, because he couldn’t/wouldn’t answer the bell. He also had goons backing him in Philly.
    What he needs is to Darius Kasperitisized! AKA a dose of his own medicine, this may humble him, if his career is jeopardized over a hit like he did to Booth.

  3. oside760 - Feb 13, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    Please God, get rid of penner

  4. blomfeld - Feb 14, 2012 at 12:15 AM

    THE KINGS ROCK !

    The “intent and spirit” of this article is unacceptable and completely inconsistent with “fair and balanced” journalism. No doubt this particular writer harbors a bias towards the LA Kings organization, of which he brazenly makes no effort to conceal. In an earlier and more civilized time, such a writer would be simply taken aside and “dealt with” … and that would be the end of that. However this is 2012 friends and today such is unfortunately “par for the course”. Regardless, the intended sarcasm and insult of this piece, has the same effect on us LA Kings fans, like some tennis ball has on coming into contact with a King Tiger “main” battle tank ! The fact of the matter is that Coach Sutter knows “exactly” what he’s talking about. Mike Richards is an excellent player with tremendous potential … and so it’s only a matter of time now, before he and the rest of the team go “berserk” ! I seriously see the Kings taking the # 3 seed in the western conference. In fact, this is how I see the West panning out in the end in April:

    1 – Detroit
    2 – Vancouver
    3 – Los Angeles
    4 – St Louis
    5 – Nashville
    6 – Calgary
    7 – Minnesota
    8 – Phoenix

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