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05-11-2011, 07:21 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Elmer, NJ
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Originally Posted by phlocky View Post
You don't really know Richards and his play nor do you know Kesler and his play I'm guessing. I'll clear things up a bit for you though so you are lucky.

First we'll start with Kesler. How much do you really know about him, his career and his abilities???? Probably just what you read in box scores I'm guessing. Here's the 411 on Kesler. Until this past season he ALWAYS played on Vanc's 3rd line matching up against the opposing teams top line. He is a gifted 2-way player who is VERY good in his own zone. Until 2 years ago he rarely saw any PP time and never had a legit offensive partner on his line until Sundin was signed by the Canucks midway through the 08/09 season and it's no coincidence that this was the 1st year he topped 25 goals in a season. If Kesler was playing on their 3rd line still, it's VERY unlikely that he would have topped 30 goals this or any season. It's not that he isn't capable of doing so (obviously because he just hit 41 goals this year) but that he was FOCUSING on a different role.

Now for Richards. Mike Richards plays on the Flyers 3rd line. He is ASKED to play a defensive minded game at even strength and to shut down the opposing teams top line. Fully HALF of his points over the last 4 years have come on special teams. Think about that for a second. He has scored 112 goals, 171 assists, 283 points. During that span, he scored 50 goals, 89 assists, 139 points on special teams. NOBODY has that high of a percentage on his points from special teams. Richards HAS the ability to be a very good offensive player (as is evident that he's been on our #1 PP unit for the past 4+ seasons and the points he produces on special teams) but he is simply NOT asked to do so at even strength. IF he were to be moved up to a scoring line and we had another true shut-down center to take on the other teams top line then it is COMPLETELY plausable for Richards to top the 40 goal mark. Hell, he topped the 30 goal mark twice and was at 26 another season ALL while playing a defensive role first at even strength. He's no slouch offensively, it's simply better for the TEAM to have him shut down the other teams top line and let other guys provide the offensive punch at even strength.

While we are on this train of thought, CARTER fell victum to this part of this year and last too. He is a very capable 2-way player and when we put him on Richards wing he sacraficed personal stats for the good of the team. You guys need to look further than just what the stats "tell you."
Never thought of it like that. Richards has always been playing with the 3rd line and makes those guys look good like Versteeg. Richards probably assisted on everyone of his goals.

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