Thursday, August 19, 2010

Predictions and "Grade-ictions" Series

Mike Richards
2009/2010 Regular season stats: 31G 31A -2
2010 Playoff stats: 7G 16A -1
Grade: A-

"El Capitan" went from 80 points and a plus-22 in 08/09 to 62 points and a minus-2 rating last season. An 18 point drop off (mostly in assists) is pretty significant, but Richards was still the Flyers Toyota Cup winner as the team's highest scorer. Very few would consider Richie's 09/10 season a "bad season," he simply didn't find himself on the score sheet as often.

As long as the Flyers Cup run was this past year, it's difficult to remember how much so-called turmoil there was in the Flyers locker room in the beginning of the season. At one point, Richards refused to talk to the media mostly because of a riff between him and defenseman Chris Pronger that the beat writers supposedly blew out of proportions. There were people talking of removing the "C" from No. 18's jersey and handing it over to the vocal leader of the team, Chris Pronger. But by mid-season and into the playoffs, all had been forgotten and Richards was showing why he wears the Flyers "C" and showing that he earns it every night.

I don't want to think of 2010/11 as a potential "rebound" year for Richards, but I do think that without having to worry about proving his captaincy, his assist totals will increase and he will be a more relaxed and energized Mike Richards.

2010/2011 Predictions: 29G 49A +11

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