In the NY Post, Larry Brooks writes about the issues going on with Brad Richards right now and how they are impacting coach John Tortorella.
Brooks writes that Richards is one of Tortorella’s favorite players ever and that it has to be “tearing up” Tortorella’s insides to place Richards on the fourth line and out of a big scoring role.
He writes that “everyone” thinks that the lockout, where Richards stayed local and did a lot of work with Hurricane Sandy relief, has had a negative impact and is the cause of his struggles.
Brooks says that the Rangers need more from Richards and that putting him in a scoring role could potentially spark him. He adds that Richards has done nothing to deserve an increase in playing time.
Richards centered the Rangers fourth line in game four.
Adam Rotter: It’s easy to blame the lockout and especially the days of training camp he missed with the flu for his struggles. I hope that is the case or that something has been nagging him for most of the year and it’s enough to hamper his play but not enough to keep him out of the lineup. I want to believe that there is some tangible reason for why Richards had the season he did and hope that it’s not because his game has diminished this much.
With the amnesty buyout period stretching through after 13-14, I think the Rangers will keep Richards next season and then make a decision. That being said, you can make the argument to do it this summer and free up more cap space. I think the Rangers want to see one more full season from Richards before making their choice.
Below is what John Tortorella thinks about how older players should prepare for the season.
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Yesterday when he met with the media, John Tortorella said that there aren’t many on-ice adjustment he wants to make for the Rangers, but there are some off the ice adjustments that need to be made.
Tortorella said, “to me it’s not so much on the ice, there are some other adjustments we have to go through, but I’m not gonna tell you. A lot of it really isn’t on the ice.”
When pressed for more information, Tortorella said that he didn’t want to talk about it before saying he would answer it later in the series.
In game one against the Bruins, Rick Nash played 20:54 and had six shots on goal.
The six shots on goal were the most he had in a game in the playoffs since game one against Washington.
Nash also had three of his shot attempts blocked.
Glen Sather told the NY Post that he has no doubts at all about Nash and that Nash really wants to live up to the expectations set out for him.
John Tortorella said before game one against Boston, via Ranger Rants, “he certainly wasn’t totally on but he’s very close. I thought he played very well in Game 7. I think he’s going to be a really big part of this against Boston.”
Nash told the NY Times that even though he was in a funk, he was really happy that the team was able to pull out the series win against the Capitals. Nash said, “as long as we win, that’s all that matters. The most important thing is the team.”
The Sporting News has more on Nash.
Bruins defenseman Wade Redden returned to practice today but said the is not yet ready to return to game action.
He was asked today, by Katie Strang of ESPN NY, about potentially playing against the Rangers and Redden said that he has turned the page on his history with the Rangers.
Redden added that things obviously didn’t go great with the Rangers and that the buyout was the best thing for all parites.
According to a tweet from Arthur Staple, Rangers defenseman John Moore lost six teeth after taking a puck to the face in game one against the Bruins.
Staple says that Moore lost two upper teeth and four lower teeth.
Moore says that he feels fine.
Rangers prospect Josh Nicholls is playing with Saskatoon in the Memorial Cup and had two goals last night.
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The second goal is below.
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According to Andrew Gross and Steve Zipay, Marc Staal is not skating at the Rangers practice today.
They note that Matt Gilroy is the seventh defenseman.
The Rangers lines are the same as they were in game one.
Mats Zuccarello, Derick Brassard, Rick Nash
Carl Hagelin, Derek Stepan, Ryan Callahan
Chris Kreider, Brad Richards, Arron Asham
Taylor Pyatt, Brian Boyle, Derek Dorsett
On the game winning goal on Thursday night, the Rangers had a 3 on 2 developing with Derick Brassard, Ryan McDonagh and Rick Nash.
Brassard tried to make a pass across the zone to Nash for a scoring chance but Zdeno Chara tipped the puck and the Bruins went in on the offense and won the game.
John Tortorella said yesterday, when he met with the media, “it’s the right play. It’s the right play. If the puck gets over to Nasher it’s a great scoring chance.
Justin Bourne wrote at Backhand Shelf that the Rangers did everything correctly on the play that ended up leading to the turnover and the winning goal.
He notes that Ryan McDonagh is driving to the net, with the intention of taking the Bruin defenders with him and leaving more room for Rick Nash who would have “the puck and some time in a scary shooting spot.”
Bourne adds that the pass Brassard tried to make to Nash works 99% of the team and that the only defenseman in the league who can stop that pass is Zdeno Chara.