It’s amazing what a shift can do. When Mike Richards bowled over Canadiens defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron and 40 seconds later lifted a shorthanded backhand into a yawning net as Maroslav Halak and Roman Hamrlik lay sprawled helplessly behind the Flyers captain, Richards did more than lift his team, he defined his legacy.
It no longer mattered if Richards wasn’t a savant with the media, gone were the questions about his bachelor lifestyle, no one wanted to give the captain’s “C” to Chris Pronger. In one energized shift he became the unquestioned Flyers leader, a captain in the style of Yzerman or Sakic. The longterm contract was justified and winning the Stanley Cup was possible, all because of one shift in the first period of game 5 of the 2010 Eastern Conference Finals.
See the NHL commercial the shift inspired after the jump.