Sabres Wanted Mike Richards Out For Game 7, But Request Reportedly Denied

Sabres Wanted Mike Richards Out For Game 7, But Request Reportedly Denied

There's been no shortage of chatter between the Flyers and Sabres during and after the first six games of their opening round series, and after the Sabres gave up a pair of leads and ultimately lost on Sunday, they had plenty more to say. Lindy Ruff and Ryan Miller led the way, quickly pointing out that Mike Richards should be suspended for his hit on Tim Connolly. Connolly has had previous concussion issues, and Richards gave him a shove into the boards that ended his night.

Richie was assessed a two-minute penalty for the hit, but the Sabres wanted more. Some outside observers thought the proper amount of justice was administered by the refs, while others thought the hit was excessive. Judge for yourself after the jump.

Here's the post-game Miller dialogue, courtesy of Tim Panaccio:

In Game 4 here, Richards elbowed Patrick Kaleta and got a five-minute major on what should be have a minor. Afterward, Richards accused the Sabres of “getting away with murder” on the ice.
 
Miller, reacting to Richards hit on Connolly, thinks Richards should be suspended for Game 7.
 
“I’d like to add one thing,” Miller said. “If Mike Richards thinks we’re getting away with murder, I don’t know what he just got away with. Mass murder? Are we stepping up a notch? Unbelievable.
 
“We lost a player for the rest of the game. That’s the kind of hit the league has been talking about is dangerous. They better seriously consider looking at that one. It’s unbelievable.”

Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News quotes Ruff as saying the Sabres lost a good player [on Sunday], and that if the league sees the Richards hit the same he Ruff himself does, the Flyers could lose Richards for a game too. Harrington also relays that Flyers Chairman Ed Snider responded to the Ruff comments with a "Oh, is he whining again?"

The hockey world has heard Lindy Ruff cry wolf a few times, and his pleas don't seem to have swayed the league office in this case.

These calls can be pretty tough though, and not just for the guys blowing the whistles in real time, but also the NHL disciplinarians. Not that I aim to defend the latter party, as the gray area is largely of their creation, but there are a lot of elements at play in most of these hits. Did the downed player do enough to protect himself? Did the guy putting the check on pull up at all despite clearly giving a push?

It's in the eye of the beholder, and there's bound to be bias based on which team you root for. But the league won't be suspending Richards for this one, per multiple reports, including Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet and Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly, who told WIP radio that there won't be a hearing.

Eagles' Brandon Brooks gives father touching gift

Eagles' Brandon Brooks gives father touching gift

How’s this for an awesome deed?

Eagles offensive guard Brandon Brooks took to Twitter to show a heartfelt message, that included a photo of a new car he purchased for his father.

In the tweet, Brooks revealed the mindset his father has instilled in him growing up, not wanting to be average and more.

Nice gesture, Brandon.

Elements will play factor for both Flyers, Penguins in outdoor game

Elements will play factor for both Flyers, Penguins in outdoor game

PITTSBURGH -- The ice on Friday afternoon at Heinz Field was watery and slushy.
 
That’s because the city set a historic record at 78 degrees for Feb. 24.
 
So what were the ice conditions?
 
“They were pretty good,” said Sidney Crosby. “It was pretty bright there. Started off the practice and the sun was beating down pretty good.
 
“I’ve played in a few of these and the ice was pretty good considering how warm it was. It’s supposed to cool down and I’m sure it will get better.”
 
The Penguins will host the Flyers on Saturday night in a Stadium Series outdoor game.
 
Pittsburgh took the ice Friday at 4 p.m. The Flyers got on the ice a little more than an hour later and things started to cool down.
 
“We had a pretty good practice given the circumstances,” Jakub Voracek said. “This is a little better setup than Philly. The fans are closer.”
 
It was much hotter when Pittsburgh took the ice, but the temperature was still warm after the sun went down.
 
Shayne Gostisbehere said, “It was hot for sure. … It was fun, but it was pretty hot.”
 
Defenseman Radko Gudas said the ice surface was, “playable, but a little rough.”
 
On Saturday, rain is expected, with temperatures falling to 42 degrees by 5 p.m.
 
During the game, which begins at 8 p.m., the temperature is projected to continue to drop and there will be wind gusts up to 31 mph. By the end of the night, the forecast says temps will be in the 20s. 

Players are more concerned about the wind than the ice at this point. Crosby, who has played in three previous NHL outdoor games, said wind is a huge factor. It happened to the Penguins at the 2014 Stadium Series game in Chicago.
 
“It can definitely be a factor,” Crosby said. “I want to say in Chicago that was something we kind of had to look at. We felt it a little more there compared to the other two [outdoor games]. If it going to get windy like that, it’s something to be aware of.”
 
It remains to be seen how the NHL will handle which team goes into the wind first.
 
“Yeah, the wind,” Penguins assistant coach Rick Tocchet of what element will be a big factor. “I hope you don’t have to backcheck. Who gets the advantage? They change in the third period. But who picks what end? There is a wind factor.”
 
Tocchet rated the ice Friday as “a little slushy.”
 
“It was good early and then it got tough because it was hot outside,” Tocchet said. “But we got a half-decent practice out of it.
 
“The one thing, the puck didn’t bounce, which was good. Players can adapt a lot better when the puck doesn’t bounce. When things bounce, it’s a tough night.”