Through 13 games this season, Brad Richards has 2 goals, 8 assists while averaging 20:14 minutes per game
Last night against the Islanders, Richards had an assist on Marian Gaborik’s goal, two shots, one shot blocked, one that missed the net, one hit, THREE giveaways, one takeaway, three blocked shots and was 9 and 8 on faceoffs.
Last night Richards played 15:50 but only one shift for 47 seconds in the third period. He played two shifts for 1:18 in overtime.
On his decision to bench Richards, John Tortorella said on MSG, “he struggled” and that while keeping Richards on the bench leaves a big whole in the Rangers lineup, Tortorella said “I felt like I had to.”
John Giannone spoke with Richards last night and said that Richards thinks he may be trying to do too much on the ice and that he isn’t surprised that this happened.
Ron Duguay said on MSG that Richards mistakes were mental and he looks tired and without confidence.
Dave Maloney said that Richards doesn’t need an explanation for why he was benched, “he knows why he is there.” Maloney added that Richards is struggling when he has the puck and when that happens, “his game falls apart.”
Recently, Richards spoke with Andrew Gross in the Record and said that his game had been “hot and cold”to start the year.
He talked with the Daily News before the game against the Islanders and said that he understands what he needs to do both on the power play and 5 on 5 and it is up to him to execute on the ice.
Richards spoke many times about how he feels more comfortable as a New Yorker this year and he expects that to translate to on the ice.
John Tortorella has been saying since last season that he doesn’t worry about Richards.
Adam Rotter: I don’t know if missing the first three days of the shortened training camp with the flu is the reason for his struggles, but his game has just been off. He is trying to make these fancy passes/plays and turns the puck over. Every player on the Rangers that struggles cites trying to do too much, or thinking too much and the need to simplify the game. That is what Richards did in the last part of the season and the playoffs last year. He kept things simple, embraced his role on the team, and produced at a nice level. I think we could see him on the third line tomorrow with Chris Kreider and Taylor Pyatt, but that is only a short-term move. Before long he needs to be back on the top line and playing with Marian Gaborik.