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01-10-2012, 11:08 AM
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deeshamrock's Avatar
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Richards all the way. Despite his slow production recently, he has still played phenomenal hockey and is one of the smartest players this team has ever had.

The injury took more out of him than I think he realized, he's not quite par yet.
But another measuring stick is that when he was hurt, the team lost 5 in a row and played terrible, looked lost out there. Nobody picked up the slack in his wake.

Mike Richards brings a whole lot more than points, he brings presence. It's something as small as all the times he gets a stick on the puck in the D zone or reads the lanes and traffic patterns so well that it creates an uncertainty and hesititation in the opponents decision. It's hiim defending his teammates when they get run at, yapping at the other's teams goalie and distracting him, a lot of stuff you don't realize. It's his offensive awareness and pouncing and passing, catching the d men off guard.
And I think Scuderi said it best when he said how smart Richards is and that he rarely makes a mistake and that he's like having a third d men out there and how much easier it makes their job.

Hopefully Sutter can provide what the teams needs and both Kopi and Richards can lead the way together.

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