Earlier this season, the Los Angeles Kings looked destined to become a team that just failed to live up to a fantastic season. Coming off of their first Stanley Cup title in franchise history, the Kings returned to their offensive woes of last year’s regular season and really struggled to find wins on a consistent basis.
One player who struggled mightily, perhaps worse than any other player on the roster, was Mike Richards. Richards was a ghost to start the season, and even at times in the first couple months of the year. But heading into the final stretch of the regular season and into the playoffs, Richards is starting to find his game.
In the first four games of this 2013 season, Richards did not record a single point. It took him until the eighth game of the year before he scored his first goal. It wasn’t the only stretch this season when the Kings have seen virtually no production out of Richards on the stat sheet.
Following that initial seven-game goalless streak, Richards has also gone two separate stretches of at least six games in which he did not put the puck in the net. Definitely not what you’d expect from a guy who has put in at least 20 goals four times in his career.
Lately, though, it seems that Richards is starting to round into form. He still isn’t putting up too many goals, but is posting points with much more regularity than he was earlier this season. The month of April has been particularly kind to Richards. He has points in five consecutive games, with six points in six April tilts.
Having Richards performing consistently is going to be a big key for the Kings as we head into the 2013 postseason. If he can continue putting up points at this current clip, the Kings become that much more terrifying of a team out of the Western Conference.