It's scary to hear one of the top guys on the team basically tell the world that fingers are being pointed.
Captain Mike Richards is saying he hasn't been a good enough leader right now for the team. Boiling points are being reached, and it can get scary for a team who usually is all about pride.
But Daniel Briere stated emphatically that the last thing the Flyers can do right now is point fingers.
“The worst thing we can do right now is point fingers,” said Briere. “We need to stay together. We need to regroup. It’s only four games. We have lots of time. Urgency is something that needs to show up now in our game.”
It was a typical statement, coming from Briere, a player who usually says the right thing to keep his team confident. But this time he couldn't hold back.
“Sometimes that’s where you can get in trouble a little bit,” said Briere. “That’s where you have to be careful. It’s important we stick together. We’re going to be together all season.”
Richards, on the other hand is pointing one finger—and that's at himself.
“I’m not leading by example right now,” Richards said. “You can’t tell other people how to do it if you’re not doing it yourself. It starts with me and kind of trails on.”
“I don’t think there are too many guys in this (locker) room, including myself, who have had such great games where they can point fingers at different people. Collectively, we have to be better as a group.”
Its funny he says this, given the fact that he and Simon Gagne have been the only highlights this season. These comments from Richards should mean something to the team—the captain is blaming himself even though he seems to be playing well.
Maybe it's time Richards becomes more vocal in the locker room. His coach thinks so.
“He gauges his own success on the success of the team,” Stevens said confidently about his captain. “His enjoyment comes from the team, not himself personally. He may be a little more outspoken now, and little more willing to jump out in front and take charge.
“He wants the stage. He wants to be the go-to guy. He wants to be on the ice. He’s going to have to have a bigger voice.”
That moment has to be now. If it doesn't get better fast, fans will start having nightmares of what this team was two years ago.
We can't have that—this team is too good and has too many leaders in the locker room to get that bad.