In the grand scheme of things, Mike Richards refusing to answer reporters' questions means little.
But, as the team's captain, he is the face of the Flyers and a direct conduit to the fans.
The Flyers won a shoot-out Thursday and defeated Boston, 4-3. That made the Flyers just 13-25 in shootout history. But maybe, just maybe, it will turn the tide because it appears coach John Stevens has found a new weapon.
His name is Claude Giroux, and with a half year of NHL experience under his belt, Giroux seems ready to exploit goalies with his clever breakaway moves in shootouts. It was Giroux who scored what turned out to be the only goal in Thursday's shoot-out.
Asked if he thought Giroux's goal was a momentum-builder and if the shoot-out problems were history, Richards said, "It's big."
Asked about the many contributions of the fourth line Thursday, Richards smiled and said, "Also big."
When Comcast's Tim Panaccio started to ask a long question, Richards interrupted: "Why bother?" he said.
End of interview.
Richards has vowed to freeze out the media. He is upset because of stories generated after former teammate Joffrey Lupul, now with Anaheim, was asked recently if he thought he was traded because the Flyers wanted to break up the players who live in Center City and enjoy the night life.
Lupul was asked the question when Anaheim played in Philly on Oct. 10. It was Lupul's first time back since being part of the trade in which the Flyers acquired Chris Pronger.
After the Flyers blew a late 2-0 lead in that game and dropped a 3-2 shoot-out loss, Richards asked reporters not to mention their night life in their stories.
GM Paul Holmgren had brought the night-life issue into play during in an interview with the Bucks County Courier Times' Wayne Fish in the summer. Holmgren said "the issue has been raised by John (Stevens) and myself with all the players.....I think this all falls under the umbrella of discipline. It's on-ice discipline _ not overstaying-your-shift discipline _ it's off-ice discipline, it's night before a game taking better care of ourselves. That's a natural maturation process that a lot of our younger players are still going through. We've addressed that. So am I concerned about it? We'll see how it goes this year. All our players have been talked to about it. Is it an issue? The fact that we've talked about it, I guess it is an issue.''