Ohhhhhhhh Wuss Hapn'en Capn'en!
(i so wanted to put a picture of Sami Kaps here)
Pronger Steppin' On Richie's Toes
Teammates Love the Richie
It's only a couple of games in a row.
It's only a couple of quotes.
It's only talk in the media.
“We need to make it [bleeping] happen on Thursday,” Pronger said. “It needs to [bleeping] happen now, so we can get over that hump and get this ship headed into the right direction.”
But once I read that quote I started thinking:
Holy shit, Prongs is a bona fide bad. ass.
It wasn't just the '[expletive]'s either (they were nice.) It was just.... it was just 'it'. So simple and to the point and strong. It's exactly what a captain should say. And it's exactly what Richards would never say.
I love Mike Richards.
Unhealthy unequated man-love.
I know his birthday (Feb 11, 1985 -- 23 days before me)
I know his birthplace (Kenora, Ontario)
I remember Richie (then on the Kitchener Rangers) fought the balls off Corey Perry (then on the London Knights) during a playoff game.
I know he was drafted 24th overall behind --ughhh-- Jeff Carter.
I remember his first goal was a slapper inside the blue line against the Rangers.
I remember most of his goals (all of his shorties)
I remember almost all of his straight-up nasty hits.
I remember most all of his fights.
I was just at the Caps game this year where he got that Hat Trick.
I have a custom jersey that reads CANNON (his nickname as accidentally appointed by hockey geeks on HF Hockey Boards) CANNON!!!
(oh, there's a tie-down fight strap on that bitch, too. i'm 200% L-E-G-I-T)
I'm not really into knowing his favorite snack or anything (although I know Jeff Carter's is Dorito's apparently) but I know and follow the guy (from a career perspective).
So yea, he's my favorite athlete and I super-love him and was calling for him to be the captain since day 1. But I finally think I'm ready to say Cannon might not be the answer for captain.
Maybe he is, I don't know.
Some guys lead by example.
Some guys are real vocal.
Some guys are scary quiet.
Some guys rip their own teammates throats open.
Some guys set their hair on fire and go insane.
Every captain is different and every team gets captain'd in different ways. I don't know what makes this team click or not click recently.
I can't see what goes on in the dressing room. Is it a captain issue? Is it injuries? Is it a coaching issue? Something's not right with the Flyers and I'm not going to sit here and guess until I get it right. All I can tell you is what I see and I sorta kinda watch Mike Richards more than anyone else on the ice.
and ever since my boy became captain....
-been a major piece on the PP and the PK
-gets in the refs ear during the game
-leading the team in points (for the most part)
-still lays those nasty hits
-watches over his flock and his stock
-makes everyone around him better
-making blind passes to the middle
-tries to dangle and do superstar moves instead of the simple play
-doesn't drop the mitts anymore
-hasn't been as grindy in the corners
-doesn't seem to yell (at teammates, opponents, or anyone)
-boring boring boring interviews
He just doesn't seem entirely comfortable with the position off the ice. Almost like he doesn't want to say anything stupid or contradict himself or anyone else on the team so he plays it safe. He's going the 'silent leader' role to appease everyone. Like he wants to 'play it cool' -- not because he thinks his shit doesn't stink anymore-- but because he's taking his role almost 'too seriously'.
On the ice he seems to be doing just the opposite. He's acting like his new mega $ contract makes him mega-dangles Cannon machine. He's trying to fit passes and shots through miniscule windows. He's not just dumping the puck in the corner and chasing it like a madman -- he's got a new 'always got to make something happen' mentallity.
And it's almost like he's torn between fighting for everyone on the team at once and not fighting at all because he thinks his team can't afford to lose him for 5 whole minutes. And I get alot of that attitude, you don't want your best player getting thrown out of a game for getting into a fight because that'd be just selfish but.... eh, it just seems the whole 'Captain' thing is awkward for Richie.
Don't get me wrong. He's a great leader. He doesn't take a shift off. He plays with as much heart and determination as any single player in the entire league. He lays his body on the line. He blocks shots, he lays the lumber, he has a fucking wicked slapper and he can thread a needle through rush hour traffic with the best of them.
And again, I don't know if he's an 'in-your-face-badass-expletive-hurling-quote-machine-mother-fucker-who-sets-the-locker-room-on-fire' guy behind closed doors. Maybe he's perfect, the team is just sucking it up and I'm imagining things. He just looks kind of 'hand-cuffed' by himself and maybe needs to see a guy who kind of wore the C on a Stanley Cup winning team. A guy who kind of won the Norris trophy. A guy who kind of won the league MVP years back. A guy who kind of is one of the most feared and dominating men in the NHL. Sure, Richie may be the guy down the wire, let's just add some more NHL 'seasoning' first.
Maybe a switcheroo would be good for both of them.
Maybe Richie can go back to just being badass my-man Richie and Pronger can yell and rant and rave and 6'6", 230 lbs all up in guys faces in that locker room and scare the ever-loving shit out of guys like Coburn and Carter. He also wouldn't have to be 'stepping on anyone's toes' with those size 30 machetes strapped to his feet.
Maybe we have a coup of power and Pronger appoints himself king. I feel he's dangerously close to doing just that and not only is the Prongs experienced, well-accoladed and rich in knowledge and badass-itude... but he's a fucking monster.
Let's ask former Pronger teammate Chris Kunitz. Chris?
And maybe I'm entirely overanalyzing and I'm dead fucking wrong. So....Let's just fire John Stevens!