Who has been the Kings' best forward so far this year?
Flyers fan here. We were having a short discussion on our boards about who the Kings' MVP has been this year, and since we couldn't agree, I thought I'd turn to Kings fans to get an inside view. I've namely only seen game highlights thus far, so I couldn't get a proper picture of how the team plays in general.
Richards, AINEC. Even when he's not scoring, his passing has been spectacular, and his defensive play is solid. And it's always nice to see him strip the puck on the back check about three or four times a night.
I am not sure where those "Richards and it's not even close" posts are coming from. I voted for Kopitar, but it's damn close and I would understand if someone thought it's Richards, but barely. Neither of them is close to team MVP though.
They both had shifts and games where they just didn't look good out there, offensively and defensively. People who haven't seen those shifts from Richards, are in my humble opinion still a bit under impression of "the" trade. Richards is NOT god and I am sure that people will be more realistic once the dust settles, next season perhaps. Oh, and for the record, I think he is perfect fit for the Kings, I am just not buying hype, regardless if it's Kopitar, Richards, Quick or Doughty. Give credit where credit is due, but don't miss all the negatives, just because you like a player so much.
The only difference between bad games from Kopitar and Richards is, that when Kopitar is not playing well, he looks lost, his facial expression shows lack of confidence. When Richards is playing bad, he still looks much more confident, he looks in control almost all the time. So maybe that is the reason for AINEC, I don't know.
When Kopitar had -5 in 3 game stretch somebody said "it's not a coincidence" Well, from what I have seen Richard's -2 in last 14 games is not a coincidence either, especially -2 he has in last 8 games. I am not saying that he is bad or anything. I am just saying that he is not AS good as he was 15 games ago. It's normal that players fluctuate slightly (and I'm not talking about numbers). I am simply questioning the "It is not even close" argument... It IS close.
Richards all the way. Despite his slow production recently, he has still played phenomenal hockey and is one of the smartest players this team has ever had.
The injury took more out of him than I think he realized, he's not quite par yet.
But another measuring stick is that when he was hurt, the team lost 5 in a row and played terrible, looked lost out there. Nobody picked up the slack in his wake.
Mike Richards brings a whole lot more than points, he brings presence. It's something as small as all the times he gets a stick on the puck in the D zone or reads the lanes and traffic patterns so well that it creates an uncertainty and hesititation in the opponents decision. It's hiim defending his teammates when they get run at, yapping at the other's teams goalie and distracting him, a lot of stuff you don't realize. It's his offensive awareness and pouncing and passing, catching the d men off guard.
And I think Scuderi said it best when he said how smart Richards is and that he rarely makes a mistake and that he's like having a third d men out there and how much easier it makes their job.
Hopefully Sutter can provide what the teams needs and both Kopi and Richards can lead the way together.
Ya know. I am going to go out on a limb and say Dustin Brown.
He's frustrating as **** to watch sometimes because he isn't the brightest bulb in the shed...but he works hard as hell shift in and shift out.
And when the Kings were slumping he was coming up with some big plays to get them (or attempt to) get them going.
He leads the team with 5 game winning goals, tied for PP goals, and leads the team in hits. He's been great. Kopitar and Richards have maybe been producing more and contributing more in the stat columns but I think Brown has showed some ultimate leadership this year on the ice.
Richards and his line shut down Ovechkin last night. Besides a few hits, Ovechkin wasn't able to do much offensively and Richards wouldn't give him much time or space to setup. He does all the little things that sometimes go unnoticed that ultimately results in wins.