So its already been said that there has been no suspention on our captain, and rightfully so, in my honest opinion. What happens now. Buffalo is calling for Richie's head and next game could get very physical. They will be taking runs at Richards, and it wouldn't surprise me if Briere, Leino, Zherdev, Timo, and Giroux (and everyone) got ran at also. Here is my proposal to everyone including the players on both teams.
Patrick Kaleta aka "guy who talks about divorces getting Briere extra fired up" aka "douchebag" aka "runner into Richie's elbow" aka lots of other not nice things. 5'11" 198 Lbs.
Mike Richards aka "The Captain" aka "Richie" aka "The devil from Philly" --- If you're from Buff. 5'11 195Lbs.
This game should start out with a fight between these two guys. They have recent bad blood with the elbow. They are very similar in size. They are both good for 1-3 fights a year. They will both want to spark their team for game 7.
Reasons this fight WILL NOT happen:
Buffalo's view: 1. Don't give them any reason to think that the score is settled. They wanted Richie suspended and one fight will not justify the suspention. 2. They don't want to get the WFC fired up. 3. I can't think of any other reasons why getting Richie off the ice for 5 minutes would be a bad thing for the Sabres.
Philly's view: 1. Mike is playing---we need him on the ice. 2. What if he gets crushed in the fight---Kaleta is probably a better fighter. They could quiet the WFC---although that place would be INSANE if Richie fought regardless of outcome as long as he is conscious and healthy enough to make it to the box. 3. What if he gets hurt? 4. What would this accomplish, they would still make runs all game.
Why this fight WILL and SHOULD happen:
Buffalo's view: 1. Kaleta and Richie off the ice for 5 minutes is a major BUF advantage--- and they are trying to win the hockey game. If they get a shot to get Richie off the ice, they need to take it from a skill comparison perspective (we lose much more). 2. Kaleta is a better fighter than Richie. It could be a huge momentum boost. 3. They don't HAVE to stop taking retaliation runs at guys or Richie after the fight. If Kaleta can get Richie out of the game---hurt, it would crush us from a morale standpoint.
Philly's view: 1. Missing Richie for the first five minutes wouldn't really kill us. We don't play first periods anyway. 2. Richie standing up for himself says a lot to the league about his character and to the players/league about how hockey still does police itself. 3. Captain starting a game with a fight vs. one of the top pests in the league would be awesome for the bench to see. Lead by example Captain.
4. I have been to 6 home playoff games in the past 2 years (Carcillo GW vs. NJ, Gagne GW vs. BUF, Clincher vs. Montreal, both SC wins vs. CHI, and Gm. 2 of this series) and God Bless America is the most amazing thing in all of sports. I get goosebumps thinking about it right now. That stadium starts off on a 6-7 (of the 1-10 noise scale) when Lauren Hart sings the first verse. Then comes Kate Smith and we jump to a 10 on the scale. You can't hear anything. Then Lauren and it comes back to an 8-9, and then the duet to close and the noise is off of the scale. If that song ends and Mike Richards fights off the draw, the roof might literally come off from the noise. All Richie has to do is get Kaleta to agree to helmets off (so Richie doesn't break a finger on Kaleta's head and so Richie doesn't have his shield advantage because Kaleta doesn't wear a shield) and hold his own and throw a few and the stadium will go ape shit. It would be an amazing start of game 7. On a side--- all six of those games (and the Clincher on the road vs. NJ last year) we have won. I'm 7-0 at the playoffs. If anyone is THAT superstitious, hook a brotha up with some tickets!
PS Travis, is there any way that you could link your (and Geoff's) articles that don't go on BSH to somewhere on BSH. Similar to how the Philly site advertises the Fan Post writing, if you had a BSH writer's for other site column, it be a great way to see more Flyers stuff on this one page. Sorry if there is a link that I missed.