Blackhawks coach: Corey Perry 'neutralized' Ryan Reaves

Chicago Blackhawks coach Luke Richardson said Thursday that winger Corey Perry successfully "neutralized" Toronto Maple Leafs enforcer Ryan Reaves during their game this week, one day after Reaves questioned Perry's toughness.

The Blackhawks defeated the Maple Leafs 4-1 on Monday, with Perry scoring the eventual winning goal in the second period. Reaves and Perry sparked a scrum in the first period, though neither player was penalized. Later, cameras caught the two jawing at each other at the benches.

Asked about Perry on Wednesday, Reaves said he hasn't liked the 19-year NHL veteran since the day he met him on the ice.

"I never really liked him, to be honest. We always seem to run into each other when we play each other, but not a lot of love for that guy," Reaves said. "Just the way he runs his mouth. He kind of acts tough, but he's not tough."

On Thursday, ahead of the Blackhawks' game at the Colorado Avalanche, Richardson praised the impact Perry had on his young teammates -- particularly in handling Reaves.

"The other night, one of the biggest things that Corey did was he neutralized Ryan Reaves," Richardson said.

"[Perry] was yapping at him off the bench. He told him he lost his last two fights. [Reaves] asked him, 'What are you going to do? You're scared of me.' Corey is like, 'I've never been scared a day in my life.' For the young players to hear that and then see him go out and wrestle with [Reaves] out on the ice and score the game-winning goal, who's more effective in the game?"

Richardson said the biggest lesson Perry taught the young Blackhawks -- who have 18-year-old phenom Connor Bedard on their roster -- was that there is a time and place for extracurricular activities on the ice.

"I think you have to know when to get heated and get involved in the game with the other players on the other team and then when to harness your emotions when you have a chance to do something special in the game," Richardson said, in reference to Perry's game-winner.

The teams meet again Nov. 24 in Chicago.