YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Kings' Mike Richards reflects on end of season, his concussion

June 10, 2013|By Lisa Dillman
  • The Kings' Mike Richards celebrates his game-tying goal with 9.4 seconds to play in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals against Chicago.
The Kings' Mike Richards celebrates his game-tying goal with 9.4… (Nuccio DiNuzzo / MCT )

Kings center Mike Richards was running the gamut of emotions following the defending Stanley Cup champion’s exit from the playoffs.

Richards missed three games of the Western Conference finals against Chicago because of a concussion, returned for Game 5 and scored a stunning goal with less than 10 seconds remaining in regulation, sending the game into overtime. Chicago would go on to defeat the Kings, 4-3, in double overtime on Saturday night at United Center.

“It’s always tough when you end the year in a losing way,” Richards said during a conference call Sunday. “There’s always that sour taste in your mouth. I thought we played well last night. I still thought going into yesterday’s game, down 3-1 [in the series], we still believed we could come back and win.”

There wasn’t much solace in the fact that the Kings were able to reach the final four, a far better outcome than most defending Cup champions have encountered of late. Detroit is the only defending champion in recent years to get back to the Final that next year, winning in 2008 and losing in the 2009 Final.

“Really till that final goal last night, everyone still believed we could win the series and move on and contend for the Stanley Cup again,” Richards said. “That’s the most frustrating, devastating part. ... Sometimes you go into a series not knowing or hoping. I really thought everyone believed we could win and we still came up short. That’s the most heartbreaking thing when you believe you can or maybe even deserved to win last night.”

Richards spoke after the loss in Chicago in Game 5, but it was the first time he had discussed at length how difficult it was to sit and watch after suffering the concussion late in Game 1.

“It was frustrating to watch,” he said. “I don’t want to have to do it again. You sit there and wish you could do something. It’s obviously a lot better playing. You can control a lot more. ... Especially Game 4, when I thought we played well and they scored on their chances they got.

“It’s frustrating just sitting there, especially with a concussion because you never know. You think you feel good and then I went out and tried skating and you don’t feel well. ... You start doing activities and realize that you’re not only putting the team at risk, you’re putting yourself at risk too.”


Blackhawks eliminate Kings from playoffs

Kings goalie Jonathan Quick points figure at himself

Kings' playoff exit leaves Dean Lombardi disappointed and determined

Los Angeles Times Articles