8:03PM: Alain Vigneault said today “First of all, Brad’s a team‑first guy. I mean, as a coach, and especially at this time of the year when you don’t get a lot of these opportunities, sometimes you got to make decisions that might be a little tough to make on a personal aspect. But on a team aspect, you have to.
I just felt that certain guys were playing a little bit better than Brad. You know, that’s the way it is.”
7:43PM: Richards said that his play has been “rough” and hasn’t been able to get out of his own way in this series. (Katie Strang)
6:39PM: Darren Dreger said on TSN 1050 that he believes Richards will be bought out.
12:41PM: In game four against the Kings, Brad Richards was taken from his normal spot between Marty St. Louis and Carl Hagelin and put on the wing with Brian Boyle and Derek Dorsett.
Dominic Moore took Richards spot next to Marty St. Louis
Richards played 13:20, had 2 shots on goal, 1 shot that was blocked and 2 that missed the net. He had one giveaway and one blocked shot.
Richards saw 9:22 at even strength and 3:58 on the PP with his time breaking down by period as:
- First Period: 4:40
- Second Period: 4:44
- Third Period: 3:56
Alain Vigneault was asked after the game about the move and said that Dominic Moore had been playing well and wanted to show the Kings a different look.
When asked about Richards specifically, Vigneault said ” Yeah, I mean, this morning I met all the lines individually, talked about certain assignments that I wanted. I talked to Brad’s line. I talked to Brad about the decision I made. I mean, at this time of the year it’s only about one thing: it’s about the team. You guys now how Richards has been this year, the ultimate pro. He’s fine with whatever I do.”
8:50PM: Richards comments today, via the NHL:
Q. When AV comes to you before the game yesterday and talks about the new lines, did you have an immediate reaction? He talked about you’ll always do what’s right for the team.
BRAD RICHARDS: Go try to win a game really. If you’re down 3‑0, you know, there’s something that has to change sometimes. Just talk to the new linemates, go play.
Q. We’ve talked a lot about your leadership, its importance throughout this run. Is that any more difficult to lead if your ice time is diminished?
BRAD RICHARDS: No. I actually played more five‑on‑five last night than I did the night before. You guys will read into it because I was on a different line.
I haven’t been where I need to be this series, so my ice time has been lower. We’re trying to win games, to get to a chance to win a Cup, so…
Q. Put me in your skates for a moment and describe, what is the emotional, physical investment you make to play this much hockey, get this close, how that plays into not wanting it to go for naught?
BRAD RICHARDS: The day after being down 3‑0 is a tough day. When you think about it, collect your thoughts, go through everything we’ve gone through this year, you know, it started a long time ago. It’s nice to be given another chance. That’s all we wanted to do last night. It wasn’t the prettiest game, but we’re still here today.
If you go this long, you just keep fighting somehow, some way. You figure it out as a group to just fight another day. That’s what we’re trying to do.
Q. In any self‑analysis you’ve done of your play in this series, have you figured out reasons why you’re not where you want to be in this series?
BRAD RICHARDS: Game2 was rough. I don’t know what happened. I just couldn’t get out of my own way.
Besides that, if I score a goal, you know, contribute or we win, you probably have a whole different feeling. When you get down 3‑0, you fight it a bit. That’s the way it goes.
But Game2 I had a chance to maybe bury a third that probably changes the whole mentality of the team and you, coming back 1‑1. But it didn’t. If other guys are figuring out a way to get it done, right now it’s about that.
Q. Brad, when AV comes to you with a decision like that to switch lines, were you surprised you stayed on the power play? If one play contributes to a goal, is it able to flip things quickly?
BRAD RICHARDS: Yeah, I mean, it flips very quickly, for sure. Like I said, if you can help out, score a goal, a big play…
Right now it might be some other simple play you have to get done while you’re out there. That’s it. Had some good looks last couple games, the power play. Just for some reason, not going in.
So we just keep trying to do that.