Surly is Delayed or Drunk…Let’s Talk Mike Richards

Surly is putting together some playoff preview feature. Usually, Surly’s work doesn’t suck. Well, there was that one post…

I want to talk about Mike Richards.

Second line with Jefe.

Fourth mine with Hustle and Hulk.

I vote the latter.

I want balance. I want natural centers on every line. That would then also result in Williams, Toffoli, Brown and Lewis on right wing, all of whom are natural right wings except Lewis who is a natural everything. That also puts Gaborik, Pearson, King and Clifford on left wing, who are also all left wings…okay Gabby can play both.

This will cause matchup problems for the Sharks. This means we can run 4 lines. This means success.

Discuss as I have been at work for 14 hours and it’s time to hit the sack.

Categories: L.A. Kings News

21 replies

  1. I love it Bobby. DS, basically, had that arrangement a few days ago, and it worked well. I would like to see the natural Centers playing center, natural Right Wingers playing right wing, and natural Left Wingers playing left wing … except for Gaborik. He’s a natural Right Winger that needs to stay on the left side.

    Go Kings!!!

  2. think with Hockey it is important to go with what is working. And currant. I liked the 4 lines when we played Oilers and Yokes..Think they were same.
    I think the chemistry of each of these lines works.
    I made the comment back then I was happy with any of the lines being out on the ice..they all jelled.
    Hope to see that senario repeated..and the Play that went with.
    T minus 3 days and counting

    Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone

  3. The latter lnies, as you outlined, wouldn’t be balanced and would give the upper hand to the Sharks. Sutter is a defense coach first, he’s not going to put 2 rookes on the 2nd line where the Sharks would eat them alive.
    Carter is much more dangerous, much much more effective at RW where his only job is to snipe and shoot, not be a distributor and babysitter to 2 rookies, 1 who is very green and the other whose confidence has dipped and has been struggling for weeks. That line, when they are together, have not been good because their 200 foot game is awful. Too many turnovers in the Offensive end, too many odd man rushes the other way and the other team cycling and getting chances. They are weak in their own end, youi can’t afford that vs the Sharks in a playoff game. You don’t think McLelland would jump all over that and put his top line out there and expose them ? Goals going the other way… Not a good line, not in the playoffs where you don’t put 2 rookies with little experience on the same line. Not gonna work. and not something an old school coach like Sutter would do.
    Putting MR on the 4th line would give you a line that crashes and bangs a lot and makes noise but doesn’t score, and is not dangerous, not with Lewis and Clifford. MR spinning his wheels making passes to 2 non top 6 players who do not have those instincts. A line that would not be effective and create 0 goals. And wasting the IQ and proven playoff point producer in MIke Richards.
    This stat is very telling,in the playoffs since 2010 thru June 2013, MR has 57 points in 69 playoff games a .83 scoring stat that puts him 2nd in the NHL behind Krecji with 60 points. He’s the only King in the top 20. He’s NEVER NEVER not shown up in the playoffs or championship games, even prior to juniors. This is the stat chart with the players and points listed.

    MR on the 4th line in the playoffs with Lewis and Clifford is a huge minus and I can’t see Sutter wasting him like that. The only way that works is for him to have TT on RW, then he’s got someone with top6 IQ, who knows how to move, where to move , when to shoot and when to pass, unlike Lewis and Clifford.

    Bottom line, Sutter’s team, his call. But I think the fact he put brown with MR and JC for the last 2 periods might be tipping his playoff hand. We’ll see at practice today

  4. The matchup against Thornton needs to be addressed. MR defending him last year was an issue. They will be looking for that matchup with home ice. I like having Richards on the ice with either Nolan or Clifford he makes them both more of a threat. Until the kids show some sort of liability I agree with Bobby. We need someone who can push back on the big retard. GKG\X/. Growing my nails out. Won’t be much left of em in a week or so.

    • So you think that 2 rookies , one very green, and one not very confident right now, are ready to battle Thornton? That line has been weak in their own end every game they’ve playeed, and the playoffs are a whole higher degree of pressure. And if you keep them together (which on the road, when Sutter doesn’t have the last change, I can’t see him doing, he’s too old school) and they will be spending most of their time scrambling in their own end vs Thornton and Pavelski , and God forbid Muzzin is out there at the same time.
      Who exactly on that Carter TT TP line that you want in SJ is going to ‘push back against the big retard ? If MR is on the 4th line on the road as you suggest, with TL and KC, crashing and banging and making noise (not goals) McLelland won’t be putting Thorton vs MR , he’ll be putting him vs JC and the rookies, the weak line.
      How is that in any way effective?
      At home, Sutter gets the last change, that’s different. Then he can try that. Not on the road, too risky.

  5. DS is an intelligent man, and he gets paid a large salary to make the decisions about his players. But I’ve been disgusted with him for not giving the players a chance to settle in and get comfortable with each other this season. The guys haven’t been together, except for Gaborik-Kopitar-Williams, for any amount of time at all. It’s been experiment, experiment, experiment. It’s now too late for experimentation. The Kings need to go with whatever worked … when it was working. They’ve shown that they can win … at times. So, if it doesn’t work in San Jose, they’ll need to make some changes for the 2014-2015 season. They will either work together and be productive, or they will do what they did much of the season and fail to score points. I certainly DO hope they can get it together and show everyone that the Kings are a great team!

    Go Kings!!

    • I don’t like his juggling act either. When Carter’s foot healed in Dec, he should have moved TT to that first line with AK and left him there, making his mistakes as young players do, but give him 50 games or so to adjust to that line. I can’t help thinking that his bouncing TT all over the placed has affected his confidence. Neither Clifford or Lewis belong north of the 4 the line, yet he continued to try that. Nolan shouldn’t have been on the 2nd line last week. Spinning wingers doesn’t work but he doesn’t seem to see that, he thinks you can plug in a player anywhere. And I don’t get feeling that he likes or is comfortable with developing young players. Now Mke Babcock, he’s a master at that.
      But I think , Sutter being old school., he’s going to rely on what he’s done historically, which is leaning on seasoned veteran players who have been thru the wars playing the most minutes.
      And he’s lucky that this group has a great set of warriors who bleed for each other and will sacrifice anything to win.
      The key for me, more than the lines, is the health of Doughty. Hopefully he’s close to 100%, without him, it’s a very scary picture.

      • Yes, it has been an interesting season under DS. I agee with you about moving the young, talented players from line, to line, to line. I think it has hurt this team. Hopefully, they be able to step up for the playoffs.

        Well … we’ll soon see if the Kings will or will not get it done.

        Go Kings!!

  6. Practice lines are out ”
    Jon Rosen ‏@lakingsinsider · 22m
    #LAKings practice lines: 12-11-14, 74-10-77, 73-28-23, 70-13-22-71; 6-8, 44-26, 33-27, 2

    looks like Greene is the odd man out, which I’m fine with. I hope A Mart continues to bring it, he was stellar from the Olympic break on and boy if he can continue to find the back of the net, and DD and Slava produce…

    I wonder which RW ends up on that 4th line.

  7. DS is a genius. The King’s record over the past three years has been phenomenal. No other King’s coach comes close. I trust DS will do what needs to be done. Injuries will determine how far the King’s will go more than anything else. STAY HEALTHY!!!! GKG!!!!!!!

  8. King Richards Carter isn’t the answer to keeping San Jose off the score sheet. It also handcuffs Carter cause MR will be to busy dealing with the big retard to get open or have free stick. I wish I had the confidence you did in MR, I just don’t. Carter has the size and the speed. Have either Toffoli or Pearson had any success without Carter or Richards on their line? Pearson has no business on the fourth line. Toffoli with Brown and Stoll may work, but why the fuck are they on their off wing? We’ll just have to wait and see. I hope the lines work and they stay together. I may have to write another limerick. GKG \X/

    • Each and every one of us who really care about the Kings have some very serious concerns about what DS has been doing with the lines. I understand what Deirdre has said as well. It’s been such a mixed bag this season, because of all the line juggling. The fact remains that Richards has not been a solid performer this season. And he’s somewhat small for a Center. This has lead to some problems for him playing against bigger, stronger, skilled Centers.

      As far as Toffoli is concerned, he doesn’t know which way is up. He’s struggled on the left side. He hasn’t been with any line for any length of time. And I believe, his confidence HAS suffered because of this.

      This team is either going to play well or it’s going to be more of DS’ line shuffling and a speedy trip to the golf courses.

      • It really bothers me when I think of what Toffoli could have become, had Sutter done it the right way. Sending him back to Manchester after camp was not a good thing, even if he did have a bad camp. Most new NHL’ers don’t have their breakout year until their 3rd year, in that 200 game mark. And they make mistakes, it’s a huge adjustment, they’re going to have good games and bad games. But they need stability , hopefully, the same linemates, game and game out, to grow and learn. I really wanted him with Kopi on the first line all year. It would have gone a long way in his development. instead he was bounced from line to line and benched. It’s the same mistake Lavvy made with JVR. The kid was mishandled from day 1, bounced around , benched.. I had so much anger at Lavvy for that, for ruining that kid’s confidence. He goes to Toronto , has steady linemates, PP and PK time (all of which he had none of in Philly) and no shock, his game grows by leaps and bounds, confidence all over and in 128 games as a Leaf, 48 goals and 93 points. It makes me sick…horrible trade. You look at how good Babcock grows his young players….some coaches are good at.

    • Going through S&S blog/comments now.
      I trust Sutter..but at the same time woukd like to hear his reasoning with these lines.
      I do NOT like Richard/Carter together..they have not done anything lately and we should be going with what is working..and. REALLY do not like TT moved with Stoll/Brown..line change and wing change..that will negate anything he has to offer..crap.
      That being said. .PLEASE Prove me Wrong!

      • I agree with you that the time of Carter and Richards being together is over … for this season … and maybe forever. It hasn’t worked. This is not Carter’s fault that he’s not betting good passes from his Center. I believe it’s Richards’ poor puck handling.

        As for Toffoli, we talked about this previously. He’s been bounced around so much that he doesn’t know which way is up! He needs to be with productive leadership. He doesn’t belong on a grinders line. He’s also had some difficulty with playing on the left wing. He’s a natural right winger. I believe he would flourish with good productive team mates.

        • Finished with Bobby’s blog..moving on to Surly’s.
          Revernd made perfect point. Mike is trying but his hands are like aliens.
          Now that we have All figured this out :-)
          who passes the info onto DS?

          • I’d laugh, but it’s not funny! :-( We all know DS deserves the opportunity to prove that he REALLY IS a great coach, and he didn’t just hitch a ride with a quality group of players to get a piece of the Stanley Cup. So far, however, with all of the jockeying that he has been doing this season, he’s creating doubt that he IS a great coach. Personally, I hope he will prove that he’s a great coach, and he takes the Kings to another western conference championship and a chance to fight for the Cup against the Boston Bruins or the New York Rangers!

  9. If MR plays like he did against Pitts things will be just fine. If he plays like c3pO drunk off his ass we’ve got an issue. Which mike Richards will show up is the real question.

  10. The problem with MR is his hands have gone stupid. If you watch him you can see he still he still tries and all his hockey IQ is still there, but he constantly mishandles the puck and isn’t scoring. Hopefully he can shake whatever is plaguing him for the playoffs.

    • You got that right!! Richards has become more like the old Lewis while Lewis is becoming, a bit more like the old Richards! Richards’ passing, puck handling and shooting accuracy has been terrible. Please … could the old Richards please step up!!


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