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02-07-2011, 02:04 PM
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I'm thrilled to bring the best playoff goal scorer of all time to the Swamp.

Maurice "Rocket" Richard, RW

Originally Posted by ESPN Obituary
Maurice Richard was the essence of hockey in its golden age. The 5-foot-10, 170-pound Richard [B]had those eyes that seemed black as coal, that blinding speed, that devastating shot, that nasty streak, that passion to vanquish every opponent.[/B

These were the ingredients that enabled him to become the first National Hockey League player to score 500 goals in a career. He also was first to score 50 goals in a season.
Originally Posted by Toe Blake
He was the greatest scorer under pressure that I've ever seen

- #5 on The Hockey News' list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players
- #6 on History of Hockey list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players (2008 edition)
- #9 on History of Hockey list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players (2009 edition)

- Named the best instincts of the 1940's by Ultimate Hockey
- Named the best sniper of the 1940's by Ultimate Hockey
- Named the best sniper of the 1950's by Ultimate Hockey

-1947 Hart Memorial Trophy
-6-time Hart finalist (overall Hart record: 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd, 3rd, 8th)

-Led the League in Goals 5 times (also finished 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 4th, 5th, 6th)
-Runner up for the Art Ross 5 times (also finished 3rd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th)

-Assist finishes (6th, 7th, 9th, 10th)
-PIM finishes (1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 7th, 8th)

Elite longevity: 14 straight years as a postseason All-Star. From 44-45 to 56-57, only Gordie Howe finished ahead of Richard in AS voting.
-8 Times First Team All Star Right Wing
-6 Times Second Team All Star Right Wing (1 in his 2nd season, 5 to Gordie Howe)

-8 Stanley Cups (Captain for 4 of them)
-13 Stanley Cup finals
-Retro Conn Smythes in 1951 and 1958

-82 career playoff goals (8th all-time, 1st among pre-expansion players)
-0.617 playoff goals per game (5th All-time, 1st among pre-expansion players. Bobby Hull is 2nd among pre-expansion players with 0.521)

Playoff goal scoring (please click)

-His record 6 playoff overtime goals wasn't broken until 2006, despite the fact that teams only needed to win 2 playoff rounds to win the Cup in Richard's era.

Led the playoffs in scoring twice (also finished 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd, 3rd, 3rd, 5th, 6th)
Led the playoffs in goals 5 times (also finished (2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 4th, 7th, 10th)
Playoff assist finishes (2nd, 3rd, 4th, 4th, 5th, 10th, 10th)

The most dangerous man when he was in the opposition's end of the ice, Maurice Richard was a legendary, fiery competitor who fought through anyone who stood between him and the net.

A special thanks to my competitor EagleBelfour for some of the following quotes:

Originally Posted by Ultimate Hockey
''The Rocket'' was given on account of his mad, whirling-dervish rushes, his edge-of-your-seat charges into enemies territory. He was an excellent stickhandler and could often be seen carrying a player on his back on breakaways. His tricky dekes attracted a lot of holdings, tripping and slashing from checkers. He had an amazingly accurate shot and could score from just about any angles. From 10 feet inside the opposition blue-line, he was the most deadly assassin of all-time.

Peak Years 1947-51
Originally Posted by legendsofhockey
Richard was often at his best in the most important games. His six career overtime goals set an NHL record.

Remember, a rocket in 1943 was a new, terrifying, and effective weapon. So, too, was Maurice Richard on skates.
Originally Posted by Joe Pelletier
The stare was Rocket Richard's trademark. When he came at a goalie with his eyes lit up, the opposition was terrified.

Rocket Richard did everything by instinct and brute strength. He would run, not glide, down the ice and cut fearlessly to the slot. Some describe him as the greatest opportunist the game has ever known. He was probably the greatest goal scorer from the blue line in.

Richard's fierce temper and dedication were also hallmarks of his. Winning at all costs best sums up Richard's approach to hockey.

In a playoff game, the Bruins XXX knocked Richard unconscious and doctors said he was done for the series. Richard refused to be hospitalized and returned to the game as the teams battled. Rocket Richard scored the game winning goal.
Originally Posted by IHL (from a bio of a Soviet player)
XXX once had a conversation with the Rocket, where Richard said his secret to success was to not worry about the two or three burly defensemen that are about to crush him as he shoots on goal. He concentrates only on finding the open spot in the net, and takes whatever punishment the other team can dish out. After all, as long as Richard scored, he would be handing out the ultimate punishment

Not Great doesn't Mean Bad, or the story of Maurice Richard's defensive ability

Originally Posted by Jim Coleman, 1979
His defensive ability has been unjustly overlooked by hockey historians. The left wingers who played against him, seldom scored goals.
The Calgary Herald, Friday, November 2, 1979

Originally Posted by Michael Ulmer
Away from the net, Richard liked to double-back fairly deep into his own territory. He rarely, if ever, handled the puck in his own end and initiated bodychecks very infrequently. "I have found it usually shakes me up as much as the fellow I have checked," he wrote. Still, while a middling defensive player, Richard was far more diligent than the procession of superstars - Hull, Gretzky, Lemieux - who followed him and Irvin used him in defensive situations. On a turnover, he always headed back first to his own zone and once there he picked up his man. The Canadiens kept track in 1950-51; while Richard scored 43 goals, his check scored 11 times. Still, Richard rationed his strength for offense. He was, Jean Beliveau wrote, "a highly-tuned, specialized hockey instrument, not a well-balanced, all-around player
Originally Posted by Michael Ulmer
When, inevitably, Harvey got hold of the puck, opponents feared his passing touch and peeled back. The Canadiens' forwards, secure in the knowledge that Harvey would be beaten very rarely, were afforded the luxury of hanging higher in the defensive zone or even lurking in neutral ice. Harvey's natural skills bought him more room and, unimpeded by forecheckers (Harvey woul quickly lose anyone who challenged him), he was free to bring the puck up ice. "He was like a big glider moving with the puck," remembered television analyst Howie Meeker, a veteran of the Harvey era. "He controlled the play so well, his forwards could cheat."
Canadiens Captains, Michael Ulmer (via BM67)

Originally Posted by Jean Beliveau
Every star has his critics and Maurice was not immune. It was said that he was a lousy backchecker, that he had little interest in the defensive game and that this shortcoming drove his coaches to distraction. It was baloney of course.

Admittedly the kind of all-out attack that Maurice launched at an opponent's net usually ended with him sprawled in front of the crease or over in the corner. He wouldn't be able to rejoin the play right away, esp if the other team transitioned to offense. Even when he scored he'd always have two defenders on top of him.
What long-term hockey fans said:

Originally Posted by Peter9
I saw Richard play many times, both live and on the television. His tremendous will to win did not magically disappear when the puck was possessed by the opposition and/or when the puck was on the Canadiens' side of the opposing team's blue line. Richard had tremendous upper body strength, and when it was necessary, he used it on defence. He was excellent defensively. Because of the Canadiens' overall strength, however, he was usually able to pick his spots in using his defensive capabilities. He was not a selfish player, by the way. More than anything, he wanted his team to win, and that meant doing whatever was necessary to see that it won. Because of his peculiar talents, that usually meant trying to score goals, but he could, and did, excel at other parts of the game, including playmaking and defending.
Originally Posted by Dark Shadows
I would say he was good defensively. Not great like his brother, but still good. Certainly not a liability in any way. You had to be at least Okay defensively to last in the NHL back then, or the coaches would send you down.
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958
Maurice Richard was better defensively than Geoffrion and Rousseau as he had more of a physical game on defense, was stronger and solid on his skates.
Originally Posted by ClassicHockey
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.
Thanks to overpass for the first quote, the rest is from this thread:

Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 04-28-2011 at 07:17 PM.
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