Read: John Tortorella’s Comments On Brad Richards Being Scratched

Claude Giroux, Sergei Bobrovsky, Brad RichardsOn MSG last night, John Tortorella talked about why Brad Richards was a healthy scratch last night.

Tortorella said, “By no means is this a situation where I am taking him out and blaming him, I am playing him on the fourth line, he is playing seven or eight minutes. It’s not good for him, it doesn’t work playing Brad Richards that way. I felt some other guys have played better so that is where he is on our lineup. It just doesn’t work and I’m not playing him in the proper way but I can’t put him in a situation with the other lines because they have stepped up. I look at the fourth line, looking to add some life, looking to add an identity on that fourth line and that is where Brad comes out and I get some fresh legs and enthusiasm.”

He added, “I’m sure some people will pick it apart, I wanna make sure you know….Brad Richards is a hell of a hockey player. He has had struggles here, it continues, me putting him in that role doesn’t help him, so I would rather have him out and identity how we are going to run our fourth line. Don’t put words in my mouth. I’m not blaming Brad Richards, I’ve heard enough of that crap. He is a hell of a hockey player that has had a. I need to make decisions for what I feel is right for the team to win tonight’s game. This is a Conn Smythe winner, I guy that I have grown up with, a guy that I love as a person and as a player but I have to make that decision. So kiss my ass if you wanna write something different.It’s not about blaming that guy and I don’t want anyone poling on him.  It’s my decision for the hockey team.”