The mentally tough performer for week #3 of the 2012 NHL Playoffs was not easy to select. I will give it to Los Angeles Kings center Mike Richards who has shown again that he brings his best in the playoffs. Richards started Game 2 of the series against the St. Louis Blues with a big hit and then scored the first goal in the Kings win.
Despite not wearing the "C" as he did in Philadelphia, Richards has continued to lead in LA with his gritty, tough play and knack for making big plays in the playoffs. He does not back down from much larger defenseman. Richards exacts a physical toll on his opponent, and himself, every time he hits the ice. He has set the example for consistent, intelligent play that will help the Kings make a run at the Cup. Richards is leading all scorers in the first three games in their second round series against St. Louis, but he has done more than that. He is leading by example every time he hits the ice and is making a huge difference for the Kings.