Blackhawks coach: Corey Perry ‘neutralized’ Ryan Reaves

Greg WyshynskiESPNOct 19, 2023, 09:32 PM ET2 Minute Read

Chicago Blackhawks coach Luke Richardson revealed on Thursday that winger Corey Perry effectively “neutralized” Toronto Maple Leafs enforcer Ryan Reaves during their recent game. This comes after Reaves questioned Perry’s toughness.

The Blackhawks emerged victorious with a 4-1 score on Monday, and Perry sealed the win with a goal in the second period. Although a scuffle ensued between Reaves and Perry in the first period, neither player received penalties. Subsequently, cameras captured the two engaged in a heated exchange at the benches.

When asked about Perry on Wednesday, Reaves expressed his long-standing dislike for the 19-year NHL veteran since their first encounter on the ice.

“To be honest, I never really liked him. Every time we face each other, it feels like there’s no love lost between us,” Reaves said. “He talks a big game, but he isn’t as tough as he claims to be.”

On Thursday, ahead of the Blackhawks’ game against the Colorado Avalanche, Richardson commended Perry for his impact on the team, particularly in dealing with Reaves.

“One of the key things Corey did the other night was effectively neutralize Ryan Reaves,” Richardson explained.

“[Perry] was taunting him from the bench. He reminded Reaves that he lost his last two fights. [Reaves] challenged him, asking if he was scared. Corey simply replied, ‘I’ve never been scared in my life.’ When the young players hear that and witness him wrestling with [Reaves] on the ice and scoring the game-winning goal, who has a greater impact on the game?”

Richardson emphasized that the significant lesson Perry imparted to the young Blackhawks, including 18-year-old phenom Connor Bedard, was choosing the appropriate time and place for on-ice altercations.

“Knowing when to engage with opposing players and when to channel your emotions to make a significant play in the game is crucial,” he asserted, referring to Perry’s game-winning goal.

The two teams are set to face off again on November 24 in Chicago.


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