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05-27-2011, 01:55 PM
Ghost of Downie*
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 3,959
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Originally Posted by fauxflex View Post
You make some good points, but it adds up to A LOT of defensive statements and excuse making for the kid. I don't think it's likely that every single concern people have raised about Richards is simply invalid or excusable as you seem so apt to claim. You sound like a fanboy who believes your hero Captain Richards is simply infallible and beyond reproach. I'm obviously not going to convince you otherwise. Still, valid concerns remain. I'm fine with Richards being the captain of the team, and I don't see the Flyers making a change. But I am worried about the maturity level and commitment based on the examples I mentioned and that he won't complete his "on the job training" (Pronger's words) before the team's current window (i.e, Pronger/Timonen era) is closed. BTW Pronger's comment was something like "stepping away from the c for a year" was the most ridiculous thing, not necessarily the idea of changing the C itself.
If defending a player from a ludicrous amount of criticism (not just you, this issue has popped up since the season ended) makes me a fanboy, so be it.

The things I'm "making excuses" about are things that are legitimate excuses.

Missing optional skates? Pneumonia/Wrist.

Lack of production in the finals? He shut down the Toews line and the Toews line shut down his line. It happens; that's when you're secondary scoring becomes valuable. Production wasn't the problem in that series; the team scored 22 goals in six games (about 3.66 G/G). Chicago scored 25 (about 4.17 G/G). The Flyers problem in the Finals was that the Top 4 was gassed and Leighton suffered as a result.

Undermining the coach? He said that it was a difficult situation with the powerplay. It was.

He didn't skip any practices as you suggested.

The use of Twitter that you call "irresponsible" was something that led Anthony SanFilippo to say, "I got to be honest with you... I like this new technique where you call all the writers out on Twitter if we say something dumb." If that's what it takes for the reporters to realize they're being idiots, so be it.

I don't see how these are "defensive" and "excuses." I'm not just going to roll over without producing counterarguments and counterexamples.

Originally Posted by fauxflex View Post
Why don't we try this from another angle. GhostofDownie, Charliegirle etc., can you please tell me in your view, what are Richards' shortcomings/deficiencies as Captain and/or player on the Flyers?
Weaknesses as a Captain:

1) Relationship with the media: He has to learn that the media is always going to be there, and he's going to have to deal with it. Do what Pronger says there. You don't have to confess your soul, but don't be mute. Give the media a soundbyte and move on. He said that he has to take five minutes after the game to calm down before he talks to the media, and I agree with it. He'll learn.

2) Don't take differences on the ice off the ice: Sure it felt good to hear him call out Subban for a lack of respect, but it would've been better if he had just hinted at something or moved on completely.

Basically as a Captain, he has to learn how to use the press better. I can't comment on what happens inside the locker room, because, by all accounts, he is performing his duties in the locker room.

Weaknesses as a Player:

1) Stop trying to do everything himself. A lot of times I see him skating into the zone trying to beat all five defenders. No non-Datsyuk player can do that. The "skate into the zone at full speed then come to a complete stop and look for someone to pass to" thing also has to stop. Basically (and I feel like this has to do with the wrist injury), he has to be simpler in his game. Dump the puck and start up the forecheck. If there's room to make a move or make a pass, then pull it off, but don't force anything.

2) Know when to take time off. The wrist injury obviously should've been fixed during training camp, because it clearly affected his play later in the year. It's noble to play through injury, but it all depends on the timing. Playing with a separated shoulder in the '09 playoffs was the kind of injury that was noble to play through, since he likely separated it in the last month of the season, and it really wasn't getting much worse.

Keep healthy, keep smart, and I think he'll get back to where he was and even improve.

Ghost of Downie* is offline