Richards Feels Pressure During Skid, Takes Blame

Second-year captain Mike Richards is a man of integrity and the man who wears the ‘C’ on his sweater. He represents the Philadelphia Flyers on and off the ice. Well, as of late, many questions have arisen about this team. Richards sees the inconsistency in the past two weeks that has led to questions and assumptions about the future of the head coach and the actual makeup of this team.

Being the captain that Richards is, he feels most of the blame can be layed on his shoulders.

“I’m not happy either,” he said. “We’ve lost more games in the past than we should have. It’s something that has to be corrected … I feel some responsibility for being in the slump we’re in. I’m an offensive player who needs to score, and (I) haven’t been doing that on a consistent basis. I feel responsibility for the slide.”

The 24-year-old is still feeling some growing pains as the captain of this team. He is still learning, as any young leader should be doing. However, Richards has taken this current skid not so easily. Other players are saying the same thing regarding their captain and themselves included.

Richards said that the team has been working all week on controlling the puck in the offensive zone. Puck-handling and being more patient with the puck has become a necessity in practice and verbal meetings.

“We need more determination around the net offensively,” Richards said. “We’ve been doing a great job defensively. In the offensive zone, we have to spend more time cycling it. Getting better pressure that way. That is how we will score more goals.”

GM Paul Holmgren stated that his captain needs to mature in areas that include how he handles the team in the dressing room. It’s quite common that Richards isn’t a vocal guy, he is the ultimate leader by example every time he steps on the ice.

Holmgren believes that maybe its the little things that don’t involve hockey can benefit the development of his franchise superstar.

“It’s the little things away from the rink he needs to get better at, maybe in the locker room he has to get better. That’s part of the learning curve. We all expected that and knew that going into this when we named him captain. He’s continuing to get better on a daily basis.”

There’s no doubt that Richards and the rest of the locker room is feeling the pressure. The stench has been permeating throughout the room for sometime now and the players are eager to get that staunch smelling monkey off their backs. 

The Flyers know their better than what their record shows in the NHL standings. Which says ninth in the Eastern Conference and 11 points back of the division leading Penguins. Coach John Stevens is the right guy for this group. The team is calm has shown no signs of panic which proves that Stevens’ message is still effective. 

The results and wins will come and I believe they will start Thursday against the Canucks in South Philadelphia.  

Quotes: CSNPhilly

2 Responses to “Richards Feels Pressure During Skid, Takes Blame”
  1. Matt says:

    I agree with everything you said. But it gets frustrating seeing this team underacheive & hear all the players talk about what they need to do to improve. At some point, they need to quit talking about it, and actually do it. Lets hope it happens soon

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