The Kings and the Nashville Predators were tied 1-1 after the first period Thursday night at Staples Center. The threat of a game-deciding shootout hangs over every close game, including one played by two teams who aren’t commited to a wide-open style.
With that in mind, reporters asked forward Mike Richards for some of his tips on doing well in what’s become an increasingly important part of the game. Here’s what Richards had to say about his game plan during shootouts:
“I’m not one of those guys who has a lot of moves. I have a couple of things that seem to work, but I don’t want to psych myself out where I think the goaltender knows what I’m going to do and maybe try something creative or different just because of that.
“The best players around the league do the same move over and over again. No (he doesn’t try anything too fancy), I’d fall on my (rear end). I don’t think I’ve ever done a spin-a-rama on the ice on purpose. We practice it a couple of times in practices. For me, I don’t have a whole of options. Points are so valuable now, I don’t know it’s a playground out there where you could pull it off. A guy like Datsyuk or Patrick Kane, even though they’re using it as a playground, they call pull these moves off. Whereas the success rate of me trying something is not great, so the points are so valuable you don’t want to go out there and try something new and cost your team a win.