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Flyers Mike Richards won’t be suspended for questionable hit on Tim Connolly

Apr 25, 2011, 2:16 PM EDT


The Flyers were able to force a Game 7 yesterday after an overtime win against Buffalo but the game didn’t come without incident. The Sabres lost the services of center Tim Connolly after he was shoved from behind by Flyers captain Mike Richards into the boards during the second period.

Connolly’s head hit off the boards and he was visibly dazed as he was headed off the ice. He didn’t return to the game while Richards was given a minor penalty for boarding. Making things more awkward is Connolly’s history of concussion problems.It’s assumed that he’ll miss Game 7.

Sabres coach Lindy Ruff and goalie Ryan Miller were angry about the hit after the game with Miller adding to the amazing amount of smack talk saying this:

“If Mike Richards thinks we’re getting away with murder, I don’t know what he just got away with,” Sabres goalie Ryan Miller said. “Mass murder? Are we stepping it up a notch? Unbelievable. We lose a player for the rest of the game. That’s the kind of hit the league has been talking about that’s dangerous. They better seriously consider looking at that one. It’s unbelievable.”

As it turns out, Richards will be avoiding any punishment from the league for the play and will be ready to go in Game 7.

If you missed the hit, check it out in our video.

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Should Richards have been suspended? We thought it was worthy of the league’s attention but many others felt it wasn’t. What do you think? Let us know in our poll and in the comments.

  1. kellyb9 - Apr 25, 2011 at 2:32 PM

    I know the Flyers draw the ire of a lot of different fanbases. What I see here is a player who is playing aggressive, maybe a little too much. This wouldn’t be given a second look during the season, and I don’t think it should be a suspension now. Sometimes a boarding penalty is just a boarding penalty.

    • derpdederpdederp - Apr 25, 2011 at 4:18 PM

      exactly. im tired of every hit causing a discussion about whether or not there should be a suspension. this is playoff hockey and theres gonna be lots of hitting, people need to sit back and enjoy it instead of over-analyzing every single hit

    • jmw29464 - Apr 25, 2011 at 4:53 PM

      Agree totally! Richards plays hard on every shift, and is equally willing to take the same kind of hits he dishes out. Connolly got caught in an awkward position that he couldn’t correct before hitting the boards, but Richards couldn’t fix the problem any more than Connolly could. The right call was made.

      • echolmberg - Apr 25, 2011 at 6:53 PM

        “equally willing to take the same kind of hits he dishes out” is the most ridiculous comment you could make on this board. Seriously? Richards is okay with a Sabre running his head into the boards? I’m not saying he isn’t willing to take physical play, but nobody is willing to take what happened to Connolly.

  2. brett1058 - Apr 25, 2011 at 3:19 PM

    Yes he should have got something, he does these kind of hits continuously and gets away with it.He is in my book, one of the biggest cheap shot artists in the NHL

  3. MinnesnowtaJagsFan - Apr 25, 2011 at 3:27 PM

    What a dirtbag play. Seriously, there was nothing “hard-playing” about it. He should be suspended at least for the rest of the series.

  4. schiver - Apr 25, 2011 at 3:54 PM

    I think it is definitely a questionable hit. It definitely should have been a penalty but actually, by the letter of the law, a two-minute minor is the right call. It didn’t look like there was intent to injure, it wasn’t a headshot, and there was no blood. Whether he should be suspended is another thing. If you watch the hit, Connolly is kind of bent over and kind of has his head down and that contributes a lot to him getting injured on the play.

    And yes, Richards has a history of questionable hits. The key word here is questionable. He got slapped for the Booth hit but he’s no Matt Cooke by any stretch of the imagination. I think it’s the right call. Keep in mind, Buffalo could have put away the game with that power play goal but instead blew another lead. If they had won the series on that power play, would we even be talking about this?

    • mjoyce007 - Apr 25, 2011 at 9:49 PM

      I like how the emphasis is on Buffalo blowing it…. who’s the 7th seed and who’s the #2. Its been a great example of old time playoff hockey all these words will mean nothing after tomorrows game. Drop the puck and enjoy the show both teams have played well enough to win and poorly enough at times to lose, hence game 7!

  5. echolmberg - Apr 25, 2011 at 6:56 PM

    I think it should have been 5 minutes and the game, but don’t think anything beyond that. It was a bad position, yes, but Richards took him a good stride head first into the boards. That cannot be allowed to happen. Richards smartened up and didn’t do it again later in the game, maybe he should have thought of that before he ended Connolly’s career.

  6. phillyaces - Apr 25, 2011 at 7:04 PM

    You got your 5 minute major on the BS major elbow call. That was a 2 minute penalty at best. The boarding call should of got a major but didn’t so get over it.

    • mjoyce007 - Apr 25, 2011 at 9:40 PM

      It was clear that Richards took advantage of Connely while he was in a vulnerable position and the extra push is what caused the injury. The penalty should have been 5 a game misconduct and 1 game suspension. However given the leagues reputation to protect it’s stars the no action should come as no surprise. As a hockey fan we all want to see the best players compete for the chance to advance and the Sabres have a great opportunity to win game 7 against Phillys best healthy players. It’s been a great series and both teams deserve high marks for fighting like hell to win. I expect a great game 7 that will be won by the team that wants it more. No excuses, no whining drop the puck and give the fans of both teams a show!
      Playoff hockey it’s fantastic!!

  7. mikey4058 - Apr 25, 2011 at 7:13 PM

    Playoff hockey!!!! That shit going to happen keep your head up and stop whining miller you loser little fucking girl.

    • mjoyce007 - Apr 25, 2011 at 9:57 PM

      Intelligent thoughts from undoubtedly an intelligent person. I’ll hit you directly in the back and you show me how well you keep your head up. It’s a stupid concept from someone who obviously never played the game. The funny thing is there’s 13 other idiots giving such stupidity a thumbs up

    • derpdederpdederp - Apr 26, 2011 at 10:36 PM

      totally agree. this is playoff hockey, we shouldnt be spending so much time debating whether every single questionable hit deserves a suspension. people need to remember that there are penalties called in a game for a reason and that not every penalized hit deserves a suspension

  8. eagles512 - Apr 25, 2011 at 7:35 PM

    If that hit is worthy of a suspension, then there isn’t going to be anyone left to play. I don’t see how any hockey fan can say that’s worth a suspension unless the have a bias.

  9. xrayjo - Apr 25, 2011 at 8:47 PM

    I agree that this was NOT a bad hit…. unfortunate yes, but this is playoff hockey and the game gets stepped up with each and every game. There have been several calls not made that during regular play probably would have been. But, when everything is on the line… they need to be able to play. There have been many hits, take downs, cross-checks etc. that have not even been called many NON-calls favoring the Sabres, so they should be thankful. Game 7 will be a HOT game – much emotion on the line… Players need to keep their heads on straight, referees keep their eye’s wide-open, and play & officiate a clean game !

  10. rabidbillsfan - Apr 26, 2011 at 11:18 AM

    Alright, heres the deal. I am sick of hearing about the Flyers. It’s sickening to never hear a word about the Sabres, even when they shut the Flyers out and have outplayed them in 4 out of the 6 games in this series. Your a Liar if you can sit here and tell me that this series was controlled by the Flyers from the get-go. Watching ESPN last night made me hurl, Melrose is a complete idiot. He said the Flyers have greatly outscored the sabres in this series… ummm by 1 goal? This Sabres team has taken it to the Flyers, a team that was a supposed lock for the first seed in the East in Feb. The Flyers have obviously had to change their gameplan because of the Sabres, not the other way around. When the Flyers are mopping the locker room floor with their tears tomorrow, locker clean out day, maybe this Sabres team will get the respect it deserves, and not be painted as the team that took advantage of a choking Flyers team.

    • diesel55 - Apr 26, 2011 at 11:54 PM

      Lol In what game did the Sabres take it to the Flyers? They had some fluke goals on shitty goaltending. How’s that “taking it to them”. The only thing I learned from this series is that Ryan Miller is a mere SILVER medal goalie. The Flyers exploited it in game 7. Yeh he had 2 shut outs… Michael Leighton had three last year in the conference finals. And statistically Boucher was better.Good Goaltending doesn’t win championships, good teams do.

      “Diet Choke” The official soft drink of Ryan Miller and the Buffalo Sabres!!!!

    • flavordave - Apr 27, 2011 at 5:49 PM

      Care to retract your statement?

  11. phillyaces - Apr 26, 2011 at 9:37 PM

    Go have fun watching your sorry ass bills screw up the draft. You got two of your better players back tonight and you looked worst.

  12. diesel55 - Apr 26, 2011 at 11:57 PM

    If that hit happpened in the pre lockout NHL it would just be looked at as a soft player who can’t hack it in the post season. However, with this new cup cake NHL it’s the talking point of the entire series. Connolly gets hurt annually, he needs to grow a pair.

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