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Richards Being Wasted

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Old
11-06-2010, 04:58 PM
  #1
CerpinTaxt
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Richards Being Wasted

Here is a news article I ran across that suggests that Richards talents are being wasted

Quote:
Nov 5, 2010 - Advanced statistics aren't for everyone, especially in hockey. While this isn't going to be a tutorial or an advertisement for them, one of the most interesting pieces of data being tracked by Gabe Desjardins over at Behind the Net is offensive zone start. Basically, offensive zone start is the percentage of time a player is on the ice for a 5-on-5 offensive zone faceoff.

What's interesting about zone start is that it not only puts almost every other statistic in context (Corsi, Fenwick, plus/minus, goals, etc.) but with a slight modification, it shows you what the coaches think of a particular player. With the help of Vic Ferrari's phenomenal Time on Ice site (which Broad Street Hockey links to after most every game), we're able to keep track of where players begin their shifts. From there, I have begun calculating non-icing zone starts to see how many times a player was selected by the coaches to begin his shift in a particular zone.

It is with this backdrop that we will look at Mike Richards. For the past couple of years, Richards has been the Flyers' best defensive forward, often drawing the tough minutes - playing against the other team's top line and starting in his defensive zone often. So far this year, his first without Simon Gagne, Richards has seen his role change. First, let's look at who he's been lining up against:

Game 1 (at Pit): Malkin, Kunitz, and Crosby
Game 2 (at STL): Boyes, Perron, and Steen
Game 3 (vs Col): Stastny, Galiardi, and Stewart
Game 4 (vs TB): Stamkos, St. Louis, and Downie
Game 5 (vs Pit): Crosby, Kennedy, and Cooke
Game 6 (vs Ana): Perry, Getzlaf, and Beleskey
Game 7 (vs Tor): Kessel, Grabovski, and Kulemin

It's here that we see a shift in how Richards' is being used:


Game 8 (at CBJ): Wilson, Clark, and Pahlsson
Game 9 (vs Buf): Grier, Ennis, and Adam
Game 10 (at Pit): Asham, Rupp, and Adams
Game 11 (vs NYI): Tavares, Parenteau, and Martinek
Game 12 (vs Car): Cole, Ruutu, and Sutter
Game 13 (vs NYR): Frolov, Prust, and Sauer

Through seven games, Richards was continually lining up against the other team's top line and/or best players. After the 7th game, that changed. Part of the problem is who Richards' linemates were. Through the first eight games, he was almost always with one of Jeff Carter or Claude Giroux. In game 9, however, Richards was paired with James van Riemsdyk and Nikolay Zherdev. In games 10 and 11, he was with van Riemsdyk and Andreas Nodl. Games 12 and 13 saw him with van Riemsdyk and Eric Wellwood.
link: http://philly.sbnation.com/philadelp...o-carrying-jvr


I personally think that the team, as a whole, is doing fine. All the forward lines have been back-checking very well (see Scott Hartnell forcing Del Zotto to cough up the puck). Also, I dont think we have to have Richards' drawing all the hard defensive assignments all the time, because of how well our defense and goaltending have been.

Thoughts?


Last edited by MiamiScreamingEagles: 11-06-2010 at 06:10 PM. Reason: Site rules limit displayed text
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11-06-2010, 05:03 PM
  #2
CS
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I have to run an errand, so I'm not going to read all of that now. I'll have to get back to it.

Is it interesting that Richards has been against worse competition so far this season?

Maybe a little, but that's the reality of the situation. Richards is the dependable one. He's going to get the shaft as far as wingers right now. He doesn't need to, but that's where we stand. To quote Holmgren, "It is what it is."

That said, as long as we're winning, I don't see a problem with it.

If we are racking up scores in the win column, particularly at the rate we have been, then there is no way you could call it a "misuse."

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11-06-2010, 05:04 PM
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Flyers are winning so............I really dont want to change anything...

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11-06-2010, 05:14 PM
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Terence Peterman
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In before lame joke about partying too much.

It's no secret Richards is being wasted. His job is thankless, and they don't really seem to care that he doesn't have legitimate wingers. This offseason, they traded away one of the only consistent ones he's had since he got here (Note: I'm not trying to make this a Gagne thread). Two offseasons ago, they let the other in Knuble walk.

They're certainly not worried about who his linemates are. That speaks incredible volumes about just how good Mike Richards can be or is...but it also means he's going to get the shaft a good amount.


Last edited by Terence Peterman: 11-06-2010 at 05:19 PM.
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Old
11-06-2010, 05:26 PM
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KimiFerrari
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Although I stated Richards keeps getting screwed in the "JVR scratched" thread, I don't think Richards minds being played against the top line. I believe he relishes the shutdown role just as much as an offensive role.

The important thing is, Riche gets his fair share of minutes on the PP and PK, which lately he and Giroux have been lighting it up.

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11-06-2010, 05:46 PM
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FlyHigh
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7 games is a pretty small sample size to be making this argument.

Also, a couple other points.

1) Let's just face it, as far as creating offense goes (and maybe just overall), the Harts-Briere-Leino line and the Carter-Giroux line are just better than Richards and whoever he plays with. I think Richards is fantastic at a lot of things, but ES offense isn't one of them.

2) Richards plays a ton of PP/PK time and is very good at both. He's leading the team in PK points and is anchoring a PK that's at 87.7% and just had a 15 for 15 streak. I mean, one of Richie's greatest strengths (especially in the new NHL) is his special teams play and he's still having a great impact there.

3) Richards is probably the one guy on the team who we can put crappy wingers with (and even I'll admit JVR has been crappy for a while) and it won't be a big problem, it's an underrated skill.

Bottom line, we're winning games and doing well, so it's hard for me to nitpick about Richie being "wasted."

EDIT: Also, re: JVR, while I totally agree he's not where he needs to be, defensively he's actually done alright (aside from that horror turnover), while it's still extremely early, his GAON/60 through the first 11 games was .44, so at least he's not killing them defensively.

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11-06-2010, 06:03 PM
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BillyShoe1721
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Am I the only one that thought this article would be about him getting ****faced and getting caught?

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11-06-2010, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BiLLY_ShOE1721 View Post
Am I the only one that thought this article would be about him getting ****faced and getting caught?
I was sorta hoping it wasn't. Cannon is the captain, he will fill whatever role he needs to on this team. To complain about linemates is comical.

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11-06-2010, 07:21 PM
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DrHamburg
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Whoops. Wrong thread but ill comment on this one :-p I think Richards be vs the other teams top line. either his line or carters. not when they are on the ice at the time some.

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11-06-2010, 07:21 PM
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Norm MacDonald
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Stupid article. The Flyers were 3-3-1 in the first 7, then 5-1 when Richards was being "wasted." If Flyers were losing those games, maybe he'd have a case.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyerfan808 View Post
I was sorta hoping it wasn't. Cannon is the captain, he will fill whatever role he needs to on this team. To complain about linemates is comical.
Richards and Giroux seem to have real chemistry when playing together. I don't know how it would work with them both filling needs at center, but I'd like to see them together even strength if/when the Flyers start slumping.

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Old
11-06-2010, 08:32 PM
  #11
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I misread this as Richards being waived I almost **** myself.

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11-06-2010, 09:18 PM
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Richards is our 3rd best offensive center at even strength (possibly 4th if you count Briere as a center). He's excellent on the power play.

I have no problem with Laviolette using Richards in the Hitchcock version of Keith Primeau. More of a checking line center, but then also gets plenty of power play time.

Richards needs to get back to playing a simpler offensive game. Looks like he's trying to be as creative a stickhandler as Giroux, and he isn't that skilled (very few are). He needs to get back to using that very good wrist shot once he gets inside 35feet.

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11-06-2010, 09:21 PM
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We are winning. Lets keep what we've got.

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11-06-2010, 09:55 PM
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I can't help but think this really just reflects how much Laviolette trusts EVERYONE to shut down the other team. And as we saw tonight, that includes Richards, Nodl, and Wellwood, who seemed to be out there every other shift in the third and scored the winner. Not exactly the shaft as I see it.

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11-06-2010, 10:05 PM
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so the flyers aren't the best source for fantasy guys this year...i'll take first place over that any day.

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11-07-2010, 05:20 PM
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Is he being wasted? Absolutely. His linemates. Ugh.

Yet he still produces.

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11-07-2010, 10:46 PM
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wasted?
I don't get how a guy who is considered a shutdown type player who can score is being wasted when used in a shutdown type roll.

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11-07-2010, 11:00 PM
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The game is bigger than anyone player, even the Captain.

If wasting some of your better players talents is what it takes to win, then you waste some talents. The game is about winning, not making lines where everyone's role fits their skill set perfectly.

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11-08-2010, 12:33 PM
  #19
Subject Orange
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Any argument that Richards is being wasted is absolutely lost as soon as you look at his play.

At the Rangers game last week this came up with several fans, specifically about how Richards only has 3 goals. The reponse was simple. Its because he's too busy setting up Giroux to score goals himself. If Richards somehow comes off this year with only 10 goals and 70-80 assists, he's done his job.

Captains don't have to be your scorer, they just have to be the stalwart guy who you can rely on every game.

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11-08-2010, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyHigh View Post
Richards is probably the one guy on the team who we can put crappy wingers with (and even I'll admit JVR has been crappy for a while) and it won't be a big problem, it's an underrated skill.
This is likely what's on Laviolette's mind. You'd not put two below average defensive players out there with Carter or Briere or Betts or Powe.

The unspoken question is this: are the Flyers winning because Laviolette has moved Richards off the other teams' top lines? Given the way Crosby has torched Richards and the Flyers over the past couple years, one has to wonder if it is really true that Richards is a defensive standout.

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11-08-2010, 01:42 PM
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Crescent Street
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JXC View Post
This is likely what's on Laviolette's mind. You'd not put two below average defensive players out there with Carter or Briere or Betts or Powe.

The unspoken question is this: are the Flyers winning because Laviolette has moved Richards off the other teams' top lines? Given the way Crosby has torched Richards and the Flyers over the past couple years, one has to wonder if it is really true that Richards is a defensive standout.
You're probably not watching much of the Flyers if you're wondering if Richards is a defensive stand out or not.

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11-08-2010, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Crescent Street View Post
You're probably not watching much of the Flyers if you're wondering if Richards is a defensive stand out or not.
I cannot explain Crosby's success against the Flyers without questioning Richards' defensive godliness. Can you?

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11-08-2010, 02:04 PM
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Andrew Knoll
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I am not buying this as a waste of his abilities, the only thing I do see maybe going on with Richards is that he is so bankable that Laviolette often has a sort of throwaway offensive player on his line or is willing to let him anchor an average defensive line against a team's second or third line.

Those are not wastes as much as compromises, really, if he used him as a shutdown guy one could argue he's squandering his offensive talents, if he used him on a line Briere and Zherdev, for example, one could argue his defensive talents would be underutilized.

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11-08-2010, 02:09 PM
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Crescent Street
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I cannot explain Crosby's success against the Flyers without questioning Richards' defensive godliness. Can you?
Maybe because Crosby is a top 3 talent in the world? Just because Crosby has had insane success vs the Flyers doesn't diminish Richards defensive strengths.

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11-08-2010, 02:42 PM
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Maybe because Crosby is a top 3 talent in the world? Just because Crosby has had insane success vs the Flyers doesn't diminish Richards defensive strengths.
Seriously. Imagine how much Crosby would score if we didn't have Richards out there.

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