The Merriam-Webster's dictionary describes the word as follows:
: acute mental or emotional distress or suffering.
We all know the feeling of missing the nail and hitting your thumb with a hammer. We all know the feeling of stepping on a child's toy with an armful of groceries and ending up looking at the ceiling with a swollen ankle. Ya know...pain.
If you were to ask many goaltenders in the league the definition of "pain," they might come up with a slightly different frame of reference. Besides getting beat by a Wade Belak shot or a short-side "Roman Checkmanek special," very few netminders would admit there is anything worse than giving up a shorthanded goal
. It is the hockey equivalent of being on a date with a gorgeous woman and barfing all over her because you tried to impress her with your manly drinking skills. Date over. Game over.
Nothing takes the wind out of a team's proverbial sails than being on the powerplay, looking to put a heel on the neck of your opponent, and giving up a shortie. Nothing, that is, unless it is also the game winner. Enter Mike Richards stage right. With all due respect to Sting, Mike Richards
is the King of Pain
#18 did both. Mike Richards has the distinction of having three shorthanded goals this year, which ties him for the league lead in that catagory. That places him in rather rare company, as only three other players in the game can make that claim. His game winning, third shorthanded goal, and 20th point of the season, came against Ricky DiPietro at the 3:24 mark of the third period. R.J. Umberger and Mike Richards broke out of their defensive zone on a two-on-one, Richards kept the puck and fired a snap shot on goal. DiPietro made the save, but Richards stayed with the play and banged home the rebound for his team leading 10th goal. That shortie sealed the game, and while the Isles played spirited hockey 'till the end, Marty Biron shut the door for his 10th win.
I would be remiss if I were not to mention the outstanding play of fan favorite and energy-player without peer, Scottie Upshall. In his first ever two goal game (2nd and 3rd), Upshall put the Flyers in the position for the Umberger/Richards two-on-one. The Flyers are obviously happy to see him back on the ice.
#18 King of Pain
. Just ask Ricky DiPietro.
Thanks for reading...