Richards’ message delivered as leaders look to right the ship

By CHRIS DiFRANCESCO
Columnist — cdifrancesco@highhopesblog.com
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File Photo (Getty Images)

The Flyers have had two consistent issues with the their club this season, according to the media. One, the inconsistency of this Flyers team. A team that was picked hands down by many to be the 2009-10 Stanley Cup champions. Two, the leadership of this team. Who’s the real leader of that locker room? Is captain Mike Richards doing his job as the captain? Do the players respond to him, or should Chris Pronger take the helm?

Both the those issues remain intact. The Flyers are still one of the most inconsistent teams in the NHL and parts of the media can’t seem to let go their grudge for the current Flyers captain.

Well, according to the ones who Richards leadership matters most to, he’s doing his job and more.

Richards had a closed-door private meeting with his teammates about trying to write this ship and finish the season strong. The outcome, a 5-1 drubbing over the New Jersey Devils. It seemed obvious that the message permeated through the rest of his teammates.

“It was a good message. We have to focus on just this game [yesterday], and I thought it was the perfect thing,” said Laviolette. “That was the message delivered by Mike [Richards].”

“There’s lot that goes on in the room that you guys)media) don’t know about. That was just an example,” said Laviolette.

Laviolette stated that Richards is THE guy to lead this team. Although it’s not just about Richards. To win in this league you need a total team effort, and its mostly not just one leader, it has to be a group of them that has to be on the same page.

Richards expectedly downplayed the comments from his head coach and gave credit to the members of the Flyers leadership group and how important their message is also.

“It was just leaders getting together and stepping up and saying to everyone [to focus] on the big picture,” he said. “[Chris Pronger], and Kimmo [Timonen] and [Simon] Gagne, we all kind of thought that and just wanted to settle everything down.”

With just seven games to go, settling down might be the best drug at this juncture. Taking one game at a time is something the Flyers have failed to do, consistency is how you win in the playoffs and so far the Flyers have failed at that facet of the game. Hopefully, after the words of wisdom from their leaders Philadelphia can end the regular season on a high note and actually go into the postseason with a new desire to win.

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Filed under Chris DiFrancesco, Editorial

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