Following Wednesday's 3-0 loss in Montreal, Richards had some strong words for the Canadiens rookie and his perceived cockiness.
From Team 990's Shaun Starr (via Puck Daddy):
"He's a guy that's come in the League and hasn't earned respect. It's just frustrating to see a young guy like that come in here and so much as think that he's better than a lot of people. You have to earn respect in this League. It takes a lot. You can't just come in here as a rookie and play like that. It's not the way to get respect from other players around the League. "Hopefully someone on their team addresses it, because, uh, I'm not saying I'm going to do it but something might happen to him of he continues to be that cocky."Calling that a "threat" would be too strong of a word choice, but it certainly helps to set an interesting stage for the re-match next Monday in Philadelphia. A couple of weeks ago Richards had some postgame words for Penguins agitator Matt Cooke, and in their very next meeting the two dropped the gloves right off the opening faceoff (six seconds into the game, to be exact). Subban, for what it's worth, has zero NHL fights to his resume, outside of one preseason scrap with Zach Smith in an exhibition game in 2008.
There's no doubt that Subban is a confident young player, and it's not exactly a new thing for a such a player to be viewed as cocky (nor is it new for Richards to be complaining about something through the media, whether it be somebody on an opposing team, a call, or the media itself). He's extremely gifted offensively, plays with an edge and never seems to be short on words. That's a combination that's certain to make him target.
Wednesday's game also featured Scott Hartnell accusing Maxim Lapierre of choking him during a scrum, while Chris Pronger angered several of the Canadiens by attempting to take the game puck that they intended to give to Carey Price for recording the shutout (Price eventually received the puck, and then gave it away to a fan).
The two teams still meet three more times this season.