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05-26-2011, 02:51 PM
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A Fistful of Dollars
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Pronger, whose team was swept by Boston in the conference semifinals, was asked about Richards and how he has handled the captaincy.

“When a team wins, players get pats on the back, and that’s usually your captain and goalie.” He added that the opposite happens when a team loses, and said that was unfair.

“People can say whatever they want about Richie. At the end of the day, it’s a team sport,” he said.

Added Pronger: “I was brought it to help him be a captain…I think he’s made some strides. Everyone does things their own way.”

Pronger on being a captain in Philadelphia. “It’s not easy when expectations are high.” He added it was “a little ridiculous for people to be blaming one person” _ Richards _ for the Flyers playoff failure.

Pronger recognized that the captaincy comes with means more responsibility, but when the wheels came off for the Flyers down the stretch, and eventually broke down against Boston in the playoffs, the responsibility should be shared.

“When a team wins, players get pats on the back or get all the credit,” Pronger said. “That’s usually your captain, your goalie, all the rest of that. When you lose, whether it’s fair or unfair, the people that get criticized are your captain, and your goalie, and all the way down the line.

“This is a team sport and for you to be successful you need everyone around you to play well.”

Pronger forecasted improvement with Richards’ image as a captain though. It wasn’t exactly an easy road for Pronger when he became captain of the St. Louis Blues, but eventually he prevailed.

“I was able to come through those with my head held high and better,” Pronger said. “So will Mike. I went through them as a young captain; I went through them as a player. Getting booed, getting mouthed off walking out of the rink and wanting to fight guys after games and all the rest of it. It’s not easy, especially on a team when the expectations are this high and the fans are this passionate.”

The Flyers captain wasn’t on the conference call, but Pronger did have some advice to pass along to the 26-year-old.

“I think as his career progresses, he is going to understand more and more what the media’s job is, and just to give you guys a little — just a little bit — just a little taste,” Pronger said emphatically. “Which is what I do, just give you a little taste. You don’t have to give it all, just enough so you guys can do your job and leave him alone. That’s all experience. I think it’s a little ridiculous to be blaming one person.”

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