Stanley Cup, Olympic gold, Calder Cup, Memorial Cup, World Junior gold. As of Wednesday night, he’s also the only player in NHL history to play on two teams that have come back from 3-0 series deficits—Jeff Carter missed the 2010 Eastern Conference semifinals due to injury.
LA Kings Insider's Jon Rosen indicates that he’s now undefeated in five career Game 7s too. When the chips are down, he comes out on top.
Mike Richards just wins.
He’s slower than he’s ever been, his hands have seemingly betrayed him and he’s been separated from longtime linemate Jeff Carter, but the grizzled pivot offered his team a two-way tour de force in Game 7.
He hounded San Jose from start to finish, kicking the night off with a solid hit on Jason Demers and ending it with a crucial shot block when the Sharks were trying to even the score in the third period.
In between, Richards led an all-out assault on San Jose to the tune of eight shots—including a few terrific scoring chances—and a Corsi percentage of 61.9. He didn't just pick on the Sharks' bottom six either. Jewels from the Crown reveals that he controlled play against virtually every opponent he went toe-to-toe with.
Faced with the team’s toughest zone starts, his defense was outstanding as well, foiling a number of San Jose’s offensive designs with his anticipation, stickwork and grit.
Following six decent contests overall, Richards' Game 7 effort was monumental.
This was an inspired and inspiring showing—the kind of performance that comes from a player who doesn’t merely like to win, but hates to lose.
Richards is a perfect example of how there’s so much more to this game than fantasy production. Even without registering a point, he was a man possessed on Wednesday, compensating for his waning speed and finish with indomitable guts and desire.