Pierre McGuire’s constant drivel regarding Mike Richards supposed leadership qualities has become quite the running joke in Atlantic Division hockey markets.

We can add some fuel to the fire based on yesterdays online exchange between the Philadelphia captain and CSN Philly sports writer Tim Panaccio.

Panaccio wrote an article recently in regards to Peter Laviolette’s evolving relationship with Mike Richards and described the discourse between the two as unsettling at best. ‘

In that article, Panaccio wrote that Mike Richards was occasionally “moody and withdrawn.”

Anyone who follows the Flyers will know that Richards garnered fame a few times this season for his petulant complaining in post-game interviews or his general unavailability to the media as a whole.

Further evidence of that has been noted in the lack of a post-season media scrum with the Flyers captain. Panaccio spoke on the NHL Network yesterday and revealed that mostly every Flyer gave some type of scrum to the media before departing for the off-season, Mike Richards not included in that group.

Richards response to what Panaccio wrote was available on Twitter for all to read at their leisure.

Richards implied that Panaccio was in the business of writing articles that “are nowhere close to being true.”

If that’s the case, do your business about it in private. Richards comes off as adolescent at best here. Could you imagine the reaction if Sidney Crosby had done something like this? The hockey community would have exploded with vile criticisms all the world over.

But why Richards can get away with this general unavailability, complaining, and now public bashing of the media is beyond me.

Red Wings Force Game 7

If you need evidence of how physicality and defense can change a series, get familiar with the Western Conference semi-final between Detroit and San Jose. The Sharks took a 3-0 series lead and have seen that cushion dwindle away to a Game 7 meeting between the two in the Shark Tank.

I believe a major turning point for the series started before the Sharks even had Game 3 wrapped up.

Kronwall’s hit on Dany Heatley was unwelcome by the Sharks, who despite winning the game, took a little baggage with them to the locker-room.

At the end of this game, Ryan Clowe got into a scrum with Justin Abdelkader of the Wings, and had this to say about it post-game.

“Did you see what he did to Dany Heatley? I just wish I was lined up against Kronwall.”

Well, Clowe got his wish the following game.

Talk about some momentum builders for the Red Wings.

Whatever the case, the East will be fully rested when Tampa and Boston take the ice for the Conference final. A sweep on both ends of the spectrum for our conference gives some must needed rest to two teams that should put on quite a show once the Conference Finals begin.

For your viewing pleasure, check out these other monster hits from the NHL playoffs thus far.