Richter's Best Days Behind Him?

I’ve Heard it so many times before, ‘Mike Richter’s best days are behind him’. Easy to say, since his numbers aren’t getting any better, and he’s hasn’t finished a year in the past three. But we will explore why this is a myth.
In the lastest issue of The Hockey News, they said (referring to the Rangers) “goaltending is a huge issue”. Huge issue? The Rangers named Mike Richter team MVP, and if you ask anyone in the Rangers organization, who was the biggest surprise this year? The answer will invariably come back, Dan Blackburn. Then why did the Rangers have the second highest goals against, you ask? The Rangers defense was horrific last season, making it easily the hardest place in the league to goaltend in. Facing 35-50 difficult shots night after night will take it’s toll on a goalie, whether he’s 35, or 18.

Anyone who followed the olympics closely, will tell you Mike Richter put on a show. He played truely inspired hockey, intent on not letting the puck get past that line. I’m not going to try to tell you he played like that night-in night-out with the Rangers, but every game he made several extremely athletic saves. Because, as I’ve stressed before he’s needed to. On the occasional night he would single-handedly steal a game, the Rangers have no business winning. The fact is, as far as the Rangers go, Mike Richter takes them there.

Even with all Richter does for the Rangers, he still has a bad name with the media. I got sick–just a little bit–everytime I had to hear about the big three goalies entering free agency (Joseph, Dafoe, Belfour). Well I would rather have a goalie named his team’s MVP, than a goalie deemed not good enough to start (Belfour)any day of the week. Ridiculous.

These days, the Rangers top goaltending priority is talented 19 year-old Dan Blackburn. Understandable, what he did at the end of last season was remarkable. But the Rangers signed Mike Richter to a contract with the intention of Blackburn being the starter at the end. That leaves people to wonder, where does tha leave Mike Richter, the man the media has made believe to be washed up?


12 Responses to Richter's Best Days Behind Him?

  1. mikster says:

    The Hockey News is so biast with some teams…..it’s one of the worse newspapers ever. You get it in the mail and your team already played three to five games. All it has are some interesting stories and small articles on each team. Big…..hucking deal.

    Cujo gets $9 million a season. Belfour gets $6.5 million a season. Dafoe gets…who knows what but at least $6 million a season. Richter gets $4 million a season. I think that tells enough.

    Richter has some bad games, so who doesn’t? Roy had some pathetic and horrible games. His “hi mom!” empty glove hand save in game 6 against the Wings was horrible.

    Rangers defense was pathetic. Rangers penalty kill was worse than pathetic. If your defense stinks and your PK is horrible, and the PP doesn’t work…..playoffs are only to be dreamed of. Now, Rangers have a solid coachign staff with good defensive minds.

    Again…three main factors why the Rangers defense was poor:

    1) Forwards did not know what back-checking meant. They did not take a d-man’s position when d-man went for the hit. They did no have a solid two-way forward.

    2) Penalty kill allowed more than 65 PP goals. 65 PPGA is horrible, more than 65 is worse than horrible.

    3) Defensemen were not disciplined enough. They made a mistake….and they’d go “oops” and Low would go “hmmm…oh well”.

    Rangers have Holik, awesome two-way forward. They also have Rem Murray, solid two-way forward. Lyashenko, young and solid two-way forward. Samuelsson, tough two-way forward. So, you get the picture.

    Richter should have a good season coming. He has a better coaching staff, probably a better defense (better than last season)…and he should have a good solid season, number wise. Richter played awesome in the Olympics. Not too many people noticed that the way he used his knees (specially against Canada) proves that his knees are better.

    How can goaltending be a “huge issue” for the Rangers? That tells me the writer has no clue what he is talking about. Blackburn is a solid goalie, and he had a great training camp as of now. This kid’s ready to stand on the crease again. If he is not ready, oh boohoo…Rangers have Holmqvist, Lundqvist, and Labarbera. Lundqvist could be the better goalie of the three….though Holmqvist will most likely make it.

    If Richter signed with another team, you’d see the media praising him and the team that signed him. They’d say Richter is one of the best goalie…you’d see it all over. But, Richter remains a Ranger so it’s not such a big deal.

    TSN has a pathetic power ranking. They rank teams, and they don’t even explain why. They say nothing about the Isle’s, just that Weimer was a good addition and they are ranked high. Not only the Isle’s, even the Hawks are ranked too high, and other teams.

    Media sources are too biast against some teams and have no idea what to say about them. Oh the Red Wings will never make it without Yzerman. Oh the Blues won’t be much more. Oh the Wild have no chance…the Blue Jackets are much better since all they did was acquire defensemen. The Wild have the defense, they have the offense. The Blue Jackets have the defense and don’t have the offense. These people are clueless.

    Don’t listen to the media’s opinions, they are too stupid, too biast….and they are worth just as much as a smart die-hard hockey fan’s opinion.

    Bottom line is, Richter is one of the best goalies in the league and he came at the cheapest price. Richter is also a great team player, he is great to have in the locker room. Richter is a great role model for young goalies. Richter is great to have on your team, whether you like him or not…deal with it.

  2. NYIchooch75 says:

    I absolutely HATE the Rangers, BUT I really don’t think goaltending is a huge issue. If I were a Rangers fan, the one issue with goaltending I would have is health. That’s it. The Rangers go as far as Richter takes them. Their defense, although improved with Kaspar, is still a huge question mark, and the locker room is also something to be concerned about. As long as Richter stays healthy, the netminder is not a problem.

    I would like to add one thing though. Enough about Blackburn. No one knows how good this kid is going to be. He could be great, and he could suck. Last season cannot be any indication that he is sure thing. He showed potential, but at times this kid looked real bad. Granted, he is only, what, 18, 19 years old? He has a lot to learn, but to all the ranger fans out there I have two words: Eric Fichaud. This guy was so highly touted back in the early 90’s. He was a “can’t miss”. Well, he missed, BIG TIME. I know that Ranger fans are excited about this kid, and with good reason, but let’s calm down some. Being an Islander fan, I know how it could be, Connolly, Pyatt, Isbister, etc, etc, etc. It still doesn’t matter until proven on the ice.

  3. Lint07 says:

    Jose Theodore faced 40+ shots ¾ of the games.

    There was no defense in front of him, he was…. well…. the team.

    I like Richter though but he’s not the messiah.

  4. jfresh says:

    Jose Theodore won the Hart. What’s your point?

  5. mikster says:

    Well, we know that Blackburn is a good goalie and if he faisl to be a starter he is still a good back-up. I like him because he has a great personality….this kid works and works and works and won’t stop. He doesn’t appear to be 19 years old on the ice and when he talks. We’re not saying he is the next Richter, but he could very well be the next Richter. He played games where he did Richter’s job, 30+ saves a night, and give the team a chance to win. He looked horrible at times, but who doesn’t? I remeber when he was matched up against Snow…and the Isle’s had a 4-1 lead and blew that game when Richter was in.

    I think the Rangers locker room is great…they have team player,s character players. Sure Bure is in there….and Lindros, come on….people make a big fuss but this guy works, he does his job, and he is competitive…he wants to win. Rangers have team players….which is something they lacked when acquiring Quintal, Lefebvre, Kamensky…Hatcher…eeek, horrible.

    I think Connoly has yet to have a solid season, and with Ruff…he ain’t getting it, same with Afinogenov and Pyatt….Ruff should be fired. I like him as a coach, but he is not that good with the offense.

    I know what you’re saying with Blackburn though, and everyone has to agree with it….he is only 19 years old now, and in 3 years he should be a starter….hopefully he will be. It’s good to see a young goalie be a starter of a team in the NHL…i hope DiPitero turn out to be liek that, but i can’t stand this guy’s attitude.

  6. chewy says:

    I agree with you on some points, Richter, well the Rangers got a steal of a deal. The only thing I can think of is that teams shyed away from his injury problems, but he did shine in the olympics and during his career. As for the press, well there are some good writers out there, as far as being biased, we when a team like the Rangers have a payroll the size is does and has not made the play-offs in five years, you have to admit at this point, unless you physically see improvement you are not going to predict it. They add big names every year and nothing yet. I hope they get better, I like Sather, but think he was given a tough job to fix a club that was poorly put together. Detroit spends the money but they win, it is time for the Rangers to live up to the second part of that equation, they spend the money, they now have to win.

  7. Sands says:

    What a goalie Richter is. He play’s his heart out every game, can you say that much about CoJo, Belfour, And Dafoe? Not really. Richter cares more for this organization then any ranger of all time. 35 means nothing. Sadly Richter only signed for 2 more years, which means we will have to go through this another time. If Richter would have gone any other contender this summer he would have brought them to the cup. I beat my life on it.

  8. RANGERMAN says:

    nice article, richters days r not over, they are far from over, As Long as Dan BlackBurn is alive he will not start over mike richter, richter will return to normal next season with at least 30 wins with the addition of Kaspar !

  9. Kariya-09 says:

    Even though im not a huge ranger fan, nor am i a basher, i belive Richter will come back in good shape.He has some more help on def(holik,Kaspar), and 100% healthy and Hitch***** will teach this team what backchecking means. If i were a ranger fan id be very pleased with how this team is Looking.

  10. Lint07 says:

    ”Facing 35-50 difficult shots night after night will take it’s toll on a goalie, whether he’s 35, or 18.”

    Just to let him know that Richter’s not the only one to have done that.

  11. NewYorkRangers says:

    Hitch***** is not the Rangers head coach, Trottier is.

  12. jfresh says:

    Oh yeah, for sure. Many goalies do, Khabibulin, Luongo, Irbe, but they all got the credit they deserve.

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