After winning the Stanley Cup last season, the Los Angeles Kings were expected to be a solid team again in 2013. It hasn’t gone that well so far for the team, but one of the few bright spots has been Mike Richards, who is leading Los Angeles with nine points this season.
Los Angeles is a team that ran right through opponents last season in the playoffs, and never had a single problem the whole time. This year has been a completely different story for the Kings, and there really hasn’t been much to cheer about. Richards may be one of the few players that have stepped up in Los Angeles so far this year, with Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar not playing so well to begin the year. I don’t think the Kings can get much worse than they have been early this season, but players like Richards may need to score even more points.
Richards needs to bring more veteran leadership to this team while Jonathan Quick continues to improve in net, and the team finds a way to get more consistent scoring. While it hasn’t been that fun for Los Angeles fans this year, at least they have had Richards to cheer for, or it could be a much worse situation. It has seemed to me over the last few years that the defending champions have declined in the year after they won.
It has happened again this year with Los Angeles, and it will be up to Richards to turn things around.