Maurice Richard's Defensive Play
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06-27-2009, 11:39 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Detroit, Michigan
This was a question I posed to Classichockey a little while back in a Maurice Richard thread about how complete a player Richard really was.
Originally Posted by
Richard was certainly more than a 'one trick pony'. He was mainly known for him killer instinct when he got the puck in the offensive zone. It's been said that he would never try the same play in succession.
Richard could be a playmaker. I've seen him make great passes for goals and also important was the fact that when the opponents keyed on him, others were open.
Richard was fearless and was also an inspiration to his teammates.
As for defence, he wasn't known as a defensive player yet he was used late in games. Montreal always had great defensive players anyways.
I remember Red Kelly telling me about the time he was converted to forward from defence for the Leafs. In explaining a goal that he scored where he checked a Detroit player from the puck, Kelly explained that he used a defensive trick that Richard used to use on him. He explained how and I found it quite interesting.
But to answer your questions, the short answers are:
1. Did he backcheck? Yes he did . Did he forecheck? Yes he did.
2. Did he kill penalties? Rarely (didn't need to) Was he logging heavy amounts of ice time? Yes, for sure although maybe not as much as Howe because the Montreal teams were so powerful.
3. How was he regarded as a playmaker/skater/puckhandler? Great on all three.
4. How good was he without the puck? About average maybe - hard to say.
5. How was he regarded defensively? - He wasn't regarded as a defensive player which is obvious considering his offensive prowess. But you must remember that in the Original 6, all players had defensive responsibilities. It wasn't like recent times that players hung around centre ice. Those players doing that wouldn't have last another shift.
After Richard had his achilles heel injury and gained weight in later years, his skating slipped and he wasn't nearly as effective.
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