When it comes to matchups in the Stanley Cup Final, one of the best to watch will be the battle of the captains, Mike Richards of the Philadelphia Flyers vs. Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks.
The two fierce competitors are the perfect examples of what an NHL captain should be.
Both have heart, loads of leadership ability, desire, and the wherewithal to instill that same desire in others. This is what Richards and Toews are all about.
There is no glamour in what they do. They grind in the corners, win draws and wander into the high-traffic areas in search of a goal.
So it's a great twist of fate that Richards and Toews -- linemates on Canada's Olympic gold medal winning team at the Vancouver Winter Games -- are meeting in the Stanley Cup Final.
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Sidney Crosby may have scored the golden goal for Canada in Vancouver but Toews was voted the tournament's best forward. Just ask Russia's Alexander Ovechkin about the number Toews did on him in the quarterfinal.
Going into Vancouver, there were whispers about issues in the Flyers clubhouse, in particular about the imposing shadow the larger-than-life Chris Pronger cast over Richards.
But Richards responded by taking his game to another level.
And now their paths cross, starting Saturday night, and you can be sure they won't be having dinner together for a pre-game chat.
Richards was the Flyers' first-round choice, 24th overall, in 2003 and is the Flyers' 17th captain in team history.
Both Richards and Toews played significant roles in their team's success this spring.
Richards leads by example and that quality was on full display in Monday's Game 5 against Montreal.
After the Canadiens opened the scoring 59 seconds into the game, Richards got it back in typical Flyers' fashion. He outraced both goalie Jaroslav Halak and defenceman Roman Hamrlik for a loose puck, and survived a pile-up when the trio collided, and ended up scoring on the vacant net.
Then with 23 seconds left in the game, Richards shrugged off a defender to drive the puck into Montreal's end. Richards was knocked down but pushed the puck toward the slot, where Jeff Carter scored into the empty net.
"You know, it just shows how much of a leader he is on the ice, and he shows a lot of character on that play," said Flyers forward Claude Giroux.
How about Toews?
He takes his franchise-record scoring streak to 13 playoff games -- seven goals and 19 assists in 16 games -- into Game 1, and he is on pace to break the scoring pace set by Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin last year when he had 36 points in 24 games.
When asked by the Chicago Tribune to talk about his role, Toews said he just wants to win.
"Game to game, you try to contribute any way you can, whether it's killing penalties, scoring goals, winning draws, whatever it is," Toews said. "Not everything's going to go your way every single night, but you have to find a way to keep inching forward and help your team."
Both Richards and Toews have more than helped their teams make it to the Stanley Cup Final.
And while only one of them will be raising the Cup in June, they are both champions in the eyes of many.