Sutter reiterated that the 28-year-old is fine. He also gave some context as to the difference he sees between a player being “fine” and “100 percent,” stating why he decided to scratch Richards after the Kings warmed up.
“He was fine today, then I think just once his blood got pumping tonight, the adrenaline got going, there were symptoms,” Sutter said. “I went in right after warm-up, he was sitting there and I said, ‘Unless you’re 100 percent, you’re not playing.'”
Sutter seemed please with how Tyler Toffoli and Jeff Carter adjusted to the situation, even if losing Richards still hurts.
“Quite honestly, once I knew he wasn’t playing, I said, ‘Jeff, you’re playing center. Tyler, you go up and play right wing.’ Really didn’t affect that line at all,” Sutter said. “Obviously, it’s a big hole. Same thing we talked about last year. Different spot in the center. At the same time I thought we handled that part really well.”
Regardless, the Kings have a long way to go.