Kings coach Darryl Sutter likes center Brad Richardson’s game. He had no second thoughts about inserting him into Jarret Stoll’s spot on the third line. But since Richardson plays a position at which the Kings have an embarrassment of riches, Sutter spent most of the regular season scratching him from the lineup.
Richardson had only six points (one goal, five assists) in 16 games during the regular season and was scoreless in one playoff game in the Kings’ first-round series against the St. Louis Blues before he joined the lineup for Game 2 against the Sharks.
“He’s played a good role for us,” Sutter said of Richardson. “Now he’s back in that position. Hey, you want him to take advantage of it. He has to play well for us. It’s not easy, quite honest, when you look at San Jose’s four centermen.
“If they use Joe (Thornton), Logan (Couture) and (Joe) Pavelski, and then (Scott) Gomez as their fourth centermen, you pretty much have to match up. That is the matchup in the series. That means Brad has to play well against somebody, whoever it is.”