Richards: This was a long way coming

Photo: Getty

The Philadelphia Flyers played last night’s game 3 in Montreal as if they were going to coast into the Stanley Cup finals. However, the Montreal Canadiens thought much differently.

After the Flyers suffered probably their worst defeat of this postseason, a 5-1 defeat to the Habs where they were far and away less superior than their opponent compared to the previous two outings, the captain of the Flyers didn’t mince words after the game.

“That was an old fashioned ass-kicking. They handed it to us right from the get-go,” the Flyers captain said. “I don’t know if we thought we just had to throw our sticks on the ice and it was going to be easy, but give them credit. They played hard. They were all over the ice, they won every puck battle, and obviously it shows with the score.”

Richards, who normally doesn’t say much after most games, felt he had to make sure everyone including his teammates, got the message.

“Maybe we got a little cocky or a little full of ourselves just thinking we could go out there and play,” Richards said. “This was a long way coming. We didn’t play all that well the first couple of games and relied heavily on our power play, and our five-on-five play wasn’t the greatest, either. Like I said, that was just a beat-down.”

In a lot of the ways, most fans for sure saw this kind of meltdown coming. The Flyers didn’t play nearly as well in game 2 as they did in the series opener. This time, the Canadiens just came out more aggressive than they’ve been and the Flyers were not prepared for it.

“They’re tenacious on the puck,” Richards said. “They’re fast and we didn’t do anything to slow them down. We didn’t do anything to counter that and we were slow with the puck. They capitalized on their chances.”

The Flyers came into Montreal riding a huge momentum wave. Winning their last six games in a row, something had to give and it did.

The only possibly positive that can come out of Thursday’s destruction would be that it was a serious wake-up call, right?

“It better be. I’m not calling anyone out except myself leading,” added Richards It’s going out on the ice and playing for it instead of just going out there and hoping.”

Richards logged 21:23 of ice time in 31 shifts with a plus-3, and the 25-year old captain hopes this defeat was a good slap in the face to help them better prepare for game 4 Saturday afternoon.

“You always say you want to move on after a game and forget about it, but hopefully we can take this bitter taste in our mouths and bring it the next game.”

“It’s my responsibility being the leader and the captain of this team that we were not ready to play. It’s got to change, and obviously, in a hurry.”

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