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Mike Richards is battle tested

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Old
04-22-2013, 01:32 PM
  #1
deeshamrock
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Mike Richards is battle tested

Good read by Jon Rosen on the playoff stud Mike Richards is and has been since Junior hockey.

http://kings.nhl.com/club/news.htm?i...ortsRoadhouse=


Although his career playoff points (65 pts/82 games) is .78 (side note the TSN panel in a discussion a few weeks ago noted the Mike Richards is currently the 3rd in scoring in the NHL playoffs over the last 3 years - 45 pts in 54 games) Rosen notes that the ppg he puts out is not the only part of his game that makes him a champion:

Identifying Richards’ value based solely on the point production he eventually generated for a Kings team a season ago overlooked so many of the intangibles that have allowed him to win a total of 20 playoff series between junior and professional hockey.

It's that he's got a high hockey IQ, is part wolverine and plays all balls and heart and has a mean streak a mile wide, that big dose of nasty gives an edge to any team, he plays for. And having a player whose consistantly wins in the playoffs (those 20 series ) gives the Kings a huge advantage.



The Stanley Cup that he hoisted above his head at STAPLES Center last spring was the latest in a long line of trophies and medals won by the center, who is perhaps generously listed at five feet, eleven inches.

His Kitchener Rangers won the J. Ross Robertson Cup as Ontario Hockey League champions in 2003, followed by the franchise’s second Memorial Cup title. He won a gold medal with Team Canada in the 2005 World Junior Championships, a tournament in which the heavy favorites never lost a game while outscoring their opponents 41-7. After the conclusion of his 19-year-old junior season, he joined the Philadelphia Phantoms and won a Calder Cup one and a half months into his professional career. Five years later, he was a Canadian Olympic gold medalist.


Last edited by deeshamrock: 04-22-2013 at 01:45 PM.
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04-22-2013, 01:36 PM
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etherialone
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Great article and a fun read. Thanks for taking the time to write it. From day 1 we have had a chance to see what a great competitor MR is but he just keeps on getting better at everything else too.

We got a truly great player in MR. A real treat to watch.

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04-22-2013, 01:38 PM
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Great post and the reason he is my favorite player. He's already starting to flip a switch.

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04-22-2013, 02:40 PM
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His little scrum with Fiddler last night in the second period (which he initiated with a whack to the inside of Fiddler's left knee in the face-off circle), when it looked like the Stars and Hasenfratz were going to grab control of the game, got the crowd into it and got the team to up its intensity to match Richards'.

With his hockey smarts, just imagine what he'd be if he had just a bit more, physically.

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04-22-2013, 03:06 PM
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jml87
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You look at his accomplishments, winning Calder, Memorial, World Juniors, on and on, and you would almost expect this monster of a player. Then you see this 5'10" guy with just above average statistics and you wonder how it's possible that this guy could win so much.

His passion for the game, his hockey IQ, and his intensity are off the charts. What I've always loved about the guy is he's not gifted physically or as much talent wise, but it doesn't matter. He's a winner plain and simple.

I think what always got to me in Philly was not the complaints about his point totals but his work ethic. When Richards as captain was a huge part of dragging the Flyers kicking and screaming to the Finals in 2010, many fans turned on him after he had a subpar showing in the Finals. Everyone loved Briere and all his goals and people forgot all the work Richards had to do to shut down the top lines, to a lead a team back from down three games to none. I was constantly hearing from fans that he just wasn't trying hard enough.

Richards is always doing everything he can for the team even when he's having trouble scoring. And when he gets to the playoffs, he turns it up even more. To say that he wasn't trying hard enough or he was being lazy just made me so angry and it was a big part of why I just couldn't stomach being a Flyers' fan anymore. Their obsession with goal production is ridiculous.

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04-22-2013, 03:19 PM
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deeshamrock
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Richards is always doing everything he can for the team even when he's having trouble scoring. And when he gets to the playoffs, he turns it up even more. To say that he wasn't trying hard enough or he was being lazy just made me so angry and it was a big part of why I just couldn't stomach being a Flyers' fan anymore. Their obsession with goal production is ridiculous
.

Agree with your points on the attitude of some Flyers fans and understand the frustration. I gave up trying to rationalize the Richards bashing aftre 2011 and just feel sorry for those fans who are in denial. To blame him for the 2011 playoff failure (and there are Fans to this day who trash talk him to the point of being offensive) is very small minded. He was playing witha busted up wrist, pneumonia and down close to 15 lbs yet never missed a shift. He still did the job lavvy assigned to him which was (as the 3rd linecenter) to shutdown the other teams top lines. (per Lavvy- It would nbe nice if Mike chipped in witha goal but that's not his job, he's doing his job.) And he did that, despite being injured and sick, he and an injured Versteeg, held the highest scoring line in hockey at the time (Vanek) to 1 ES goal i n7 games vs Buffalo . He was on the ice for 7 Flyers goals (which led the team) and only 2 going the other way. If it wasn't for the terrific job Mike and Versteeg did, the Flyers would have never won that series. Let alone MR set up the game tying goal in game 6 and the game winner in OT.

But defense isn't sexy enought to write about in Philly, only offense is. Danny Briere got 6 goals vs the sabres and was lauded, despite being on the ice for 5 going the other way. Against Boston, Briere 0 goals and 7 going the other way. But Richards was the one who got crucified by the fans and media. I didn't get i then, I still don't. Goaltending, being outcoached and poor defense lost them that series.
But because of that shortsightedness and Snider blamning Richards, he got traded to the Kings and helpd them win a Cup.
Best thing that ever happened to him and for his career, he's appreciatd here by the fans, players and media and he'll shine here.

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04-22-2013, 03:47 PM
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I will read this when I get home, thanks for posting it!

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04-22-2013, 03:54 PM
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I'm glad he's had the chance to come here and make a difference without being lambasted in the spot light. And when he plays poorly, I'm worried about him and his health more than anything. I want him to have a long and thriving career here, free of injuries. If his play drops, chances are he's playing injured, which shows what kind of character he has. Can't fault him for that. But realistically, I don't think he'll ever return to being a 60-70 point guy, but I hope he proves me wrong...

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04-22-2013, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deeshamrock View Post
.But defense isn't sexy enought to write about in Philly, only offense is.

great analysis you two. i couldn't agree more with what you said. what he brings to a team is essential to winning championships, hell his track record just bears this statement out.

where is PHI now without him? (not bashing trust me) they are an inflated offensive team at times, while at other times are very inconsistent scoring. the one consistency since he was traded i see is lack of focus and playing team defense. sure some other guys are gone from the equation as well, but with MR on that team now i can't believe he wouldn't have made enough of an impact for PHI to make the PO's. he is a heart and soul guy that makes everyone around him better.

those intangibles and desire to win is why Lombardi made the trade. you load a roster with as many players as possible that are in the mold of MR and watch the W's and championships pile up.

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04-22-2013, 04:46 PM
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deeshamrock
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But realistically, I don't think he'll ever return to being a 60-70 point guy, but I hope he proves me wrong...
Well, we don't know what the future holds but don't forget a large part (other than not playing hurt) of a top 6 forwards sucess is stabilty of linemates. He's not had that in 3 years. His last year as a Flyer , not only did he play the whole year with a busted up wrist but he had that 'powerhouse' of a winger, Andreas Nodl as a linemate, along with Carcillo and an assortment of other wingers, but nobody permanent that was a top 6 skillset or even c lose. Last year despite the shifting wings, prior to the head injury, he had 11 G and 20 points in 24 games, but that all changed 12/1 with the concussion.
This year , if you take away the 7 or 8 games at the beginning of the year and the 2 to 3 weeks he lost after Mar 10 and that violent blindside hit, his 32 points wouild be close.
If he stays healhty and DL gets a solid top 6 LW for that line with Carter, he should be able to put up somewhere in the neighborhood of what his current career ppg is, about 74 points.

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04-22-2013, 04:51 PM
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Identifying Richards’ value based solely on the point production he eventually generated for a Kings team a season ago overlooked so many of the intangibles that have allowed him to win a total of 20 playoff series between junior and professional hockey.

A lot of HF posters around here need to re-read that **** to let it sink in.

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04-22-2013, 05:17 PM
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cyclones22
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Trading for Mike Richards and Jeff Carter were the greatest trades in Kings history. I know, I know, Gretzky. Gretzky was great for the league as a whole, but in the end, didn't deliver us a Cup. These trades directly contributed to delivering this city its first Stanley Cup. Hell, if you think about it, the Gretzy trade created the fans of the other franchises in California who annoy us so much. So that's another black mark against it!

I know it's silly, but I had more confidence during the playoffs because Richards and Carter had advanced further as leaders of the Flyers. I thought, these guys won't let us lay an egg in Round 1. I figured with that kind of experience, it would help our top players, who had never been out of the first round. I have to believe that it did help.

There are some Flyers fans on the main board who are absolutely fixated on individual numbers, as if that's the be all end all of who "wins a trade". I see it all of the time. Voracek + Simmonds + Schenn + Couturier point totals >>>> Richards + Carter. Like point totals are the exclusive determining factor of who is actually a better hockey player. Sure, it's great for winning your fantasy hockey league, but not in winning games in the NHL. There are two zones on the ice, introduce yourself to the defensive side and maybe help out those defensemen who aren't any good. Sure your offensive output might take a hit, but you might win more games.

Richards and Carter are better hockey players period than any of those guys, including flavor of the month Voracek. All but Couturier are 1 way players and that's Philly's biggest problem. Apparently that mindset works its way up from the fan level to the front office. Our own Justin Williams has played 3 times more PK time than Schenn, Voracek and Simmonds COMBINED. I **** you not, it's true. In LA, the best forwards routinely play in the top 6 PK. The best players, play offense and defense.

One of the best (worst) arguments I've read from some fans in regards to point comparisons between Richards and Carter and the guys who replaced them, is that the Kings score more goals than the Flyers do. That must mean that the Flyers offense-only system is just perception, not reality. I see, so Flyers forwards backcheck like Kings forwards do? Surely they must not be cheating in their own ends, otherwise they'd be outscoring the Kings. Well, the Kings score more goals than the Flyers do because they have the puck more than any team in the league. Playing defense has something to do with that. The Flyers have seemingly better offensive weapons than the Kings do. The Kings have better hockey players, and coaching, and front office. Outscoring opponents on the scoreboard is greater than tallying more points on the score sheet. Competitive greatness isn't measured in the box score. Maybe they'll heed that lesson next season.

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04-22-2013, 05:27 PM
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etherialone
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Originally Posted by cyclones22 View Post
Trading for Mike Richards and Jeff Carter were the greatest trades in Kings history. I know, I know, Gretzky. Gretzky was great for the league as a whole, but in the end, didn't deliver us a Cup. These trades directly contributed to delivering this city its first Stanley Cup. Hell, if you think about it, the Gretzy trade created the fans of the other franchises in California who annoy us so much. So that's another black mark against it!

I know it's silly, but I had more confidence during the playoffs because Richards and Carter had advanced further as leaders of the Flyers. I thought, these guys won't let us lay an egg in Round 1. I figured with that kind of experience, it would help our top players, who had never been out of the first round. I have to believe that it did help.

There are some Flyers fans on the main board who are absolutely fixated on individual numbers, as if that's the be all end all of who "wins a trade". I see it all of the time. Voracek + Simmonds + Schenn + Couturier point totals >>>> Richards + Carter. Like point totals are the exclusive determining factor of who is actually a better hockey player. Sure, it's great for winning your fantasy hockey league, but not in winning games in the NHL. There are two zones on the ice, introduce yourself to the defensive side and maybe help out those defensemen who aren't any good. Sure your offensive output might take a hit, but you might win more games.

Richards and Carter are better hockey players period than any of those guys, including flavor of the month Voracek. All but Couturier are 1 way players and that's Philly's biggest problem. Apparently that mindset works its way up from the fan level to the front office. Our own Justin Williams has played 3 times more PK time than Schenn, Voracek and Simmonds COMBINED. I **** you not, it's true. In LA, the best forwards routinely play in the top 6 PK. The best players, play offense and defense.

One of the best (worst) arguments I've read from some fans in regards to point comparisons between Richards and Carter and the guys who replaced them, is that the Kings score more goals than the Flyers do. That must mean that the Flyers offense-only system is just perception, not reality. I see, so Flyers forwards backcheck like Kings forwards do? Surely they must not be cheating in their own ends, otherwise they'd be outscoring the Kings. Well, the Kings score more goals than the Flyers do because they have the puck more than any team in the league. Playing defense has something to do with that. The Flyers have seemingly better offensive weapons than the Kings do. The Kings have better hockey players, and coaching, and front office. Outscoring opponents on the scoreboard is greater than tallying more points on the score sheet. Competitive greatness isn't measured in the box score. Maybe they'll heed that lesson next season.

This was a great post and fun to read ^.

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04-22-2013, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclones22 View Post
One of the best (worst) arguments I've read from some fans in regards to point comparisons between Richards and Carter and the guys who replaced them, is that the Kings score more goals than the Flyers do. That must mean that the Flyers offense-only system is just perception, not reality. I see, so Flyers forwards backcheck like Kings forwards do? Surely they must not be cheating in their own ends, otherwise they'd be outscoring the Kings. Well, the Kings score more goals than the Flyers do because they have the puck more than any team in the league. Playing defense has something to do with that. The Flyers have seemingly better offensive weapons than the Kings do. The Kings have better hockey players, and coaching, and front office. Outscoring opponents on the scoreboard is greater than tallying more points on the score sheet. Competitive greatness isn't measured in the box score. Maybe they'll heed that lesson next season.
That's the new argument that cause we are similar in points and goals to the Flyers, that somehow means that Voracek = Carter even if they switch teams. Voracek is a -10 and as you said, does not contribute on the PK. Your team can score a **** ton of goals but if you don't play well in your own zone, then you might as well give them all back again. He is not Carter OR Richards and he'd be a liability playing like that on the Kings.

The truth is the Kings probably would score more goals if they played the Flyers system but as you can see that system isn't worth it. Yeah, all the pretty goals get you on Sportscenter but I'm much more impressed when Carter hustles all the way back to poke check the puck away and end a possible offensive threat.

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04-22-2013, 08:50 PM
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Hatred? Sure, why not. According to linemate Dustin Penner in the middle of last spring’s four-game sweep of the St. Louis Blues, “He arrives at every part of the ice in ill humor.”
Gotta love Penner!

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04-22-2013, 09:53 PM
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etherialone
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Gotta love Penner!
If only he played as well as he spoke, the guy would be a lock for the hall of fame.

Funny funny guy.

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04-22-2013, 10:32 PM
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This pretty much sums up Richards in 19 seconds:


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04-22-2013, 11:13 PM
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I LOVED the trade when it happened. I thought it changed the attitude of the Kings the way the Dodgers were changed after they got Kirk Gibson in the 80's. Intensity and drive to win.

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04-22-2013, 11:37 PM
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Richards is the perfect type of center to compliment Kopitar.

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04-23-2013, 12:04 AM
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reading this thread made me appreciate Mike Richards and Jeff Carter more than I already do. I love these guys.

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04-23-2013, 12:16 AM
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Andrew Knoll
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This is an article that gets written every year (hell I have written it more than once!) but Rosen does a refreshing job of adding some angles and information. Richards is all business, man! I talked to Pete DeBoer about it last year, said he knew exactly how special Richie was back in Kitchener. Crazy to think about his achievements, they are on par with Scott Niedermayer's and that is incredible.

I also have to give credit to Rosen for coming up with a usable quote from Sutter. I heard the bulk of what he said and it was one of those instances where he talks a lot and says nothing. Sometimes I listen to him more for laughs than quotes, interesting approach to the Q&A format to say the least.

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04-23-2013, 12:42 AM
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I like how the fans and HNIC commentators were saying how Burrows wasn't expecting it. GTFO, any time you're on the ice is a prime time to get crushed.

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04-23-2013, 01:18 AM
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Andrew Knoll
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Another overlooked Burrows-Richards moment was when Burrows lifted a pile of snow off the ice with his stick, held it to Richards' nose and raised his stick as if to say "Want some?"

You can figure that one out for yourself.

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04-23-2013, 01:38 AM
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Ziggy Stardust
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I really can't remember when, or if ever, the Kings have had a center like Mike Richards on the team. He truly is a unique player that too many appreciate because he's not a fancy player and doesn't post big numbers. He wins games.

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04-23-2013, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew Knoll View Post
Another overlooked Burrows-Richards moment was when Burrows lifted a pile of snow off the ice with his stick, held it to Richards' nose and raised his stick as if to say "Want some?"

You can figure that one out for yourself.
Yeah that was after Burrows tried to go after Richards after the hit and he pushed him down like he was nothing, wasn't it? He'd pretty much come across as the loser at that point.

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