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“If you get down a goal, there’s not much tape-to-tape passing going on so you really got to come out of the gates,” Rupp said. “The ice gets a little chewed up, and you got to play simple hockey.”

Rupp doesn’t have the talent to play like Richards or Philadelphia’s two goal-scorers, Brayden Schenn and Claude Giroux. Simple is the only way for him, but it made him the star in Monday’s snowy spectacle.

“I think that’s the point of getting guys like that and signing guys like that in the offseason is you have your system, you have your team and you want to add guys that are going to help that, help your system, help your game we played,” defenseman Dan Girardi said. “He’s been great for us so far.”

No time greater than during the Winter Classic, an event that led teammates to salute Rupp back.