After Brad Richards recorded his first career hat trick against the Sabres last night, John Tortorella said this about the alternate captain's struggles this season (via Bergen Record)...
“He’s been good all year as far as his attitude. He’s a pro. He’s been through a lot of ups and downs. He knows more is expected of him. He has still made plays along the way, though there are struggles. He isn’t a guy that brings it into the room and brings other people down. He beats himself up, no question. he doesn’t let that get his teammates down. I never worry about that with him.”
Richards on whether these two games indicate a rebound in his game...
“Hopefully. I don’t even really want to talk about it and jinx it. If it’s back now, it’s a great time to have it, let’s put it that way.”
Here's the hat trick...
...listen, there's no way around it, it has been a nightmare season for Richards. Every part of his game has broken down. But one thing you can't criticize is his effort. There haven't been many, if any, instances you can point to this season in which he hasn't given maximum effort. Which is a testament to his leadership and ability to put the team first. If he began to display an aloof attitude on the ice you wonder how it might have affected the rest of the team especially the younger players.
...but I tell you what, if Richards can heat up here and into the playoffs (playoffs?!?!?! you talking playoff?!?!?) all the fans' frustrations with him will melt away in a New York minute. Hell, you might even see an end to all the buyout speculation. I said might.
...Richards' struggles have been a microcosm of the Rangers inconsistent play this season, so I really feel that if he can find his game the entire team will follow and we'll finally see the team we all anticipated during the offseason.
More post game thoughts from players and Torts...
You know I've said this before when buy-out talks were raging here; he was the top free agent pick in the weakest free agent pool in possibly a decade which may have made him look better than he actually is - Don't get me wrong, I've always considered him to be a very good player but not a "great" player. Numbers have been there (91 points twice in his career) but his great season in Dallas where he scored 91 he was still a -12 and in fact most seasons he's been in the minus (not a big fan of +/- as it more often reflects upon the team rather than the individual players but it does still indicate that his defensive play is a bit weak) and has never scored 30+ goals. Just MHO but maybe we've expected too much out of him? Still, even though his last 4 goals were fluky or soft he's generally looked sharper since the trade deadline and we need him to play to his strengths if we are to go deep into the playoffs. Hockey's such a demanding sport and I'd hate to think he's losing a step at age 30
Awful contract for a non-producing player. He gets a very fortunate hat trick. I hope it builds his confidence... sometimes lucky goals do. Still, he is operating at a fraction of what this team paid for. Buy out coming.
@TheNYRBlog is there a rule preventing a team from buying a player out, then resigning him to a new contract at better terms?
@TheNYRBlog still needs to be bought out,aging player,too many years,too much $ regardless of short term(now/next season) only gng 2 decline
@TheNYRBlog I don't want to buy him out.
Rangers 4x1 Islanders
Rangers 5x1 Lighting
Rangers 4x3 Bruins
After this three wins, Boyle backs to the lineup and…
Islanders 4x3 Rangers
Ops.. Rangers 2x1 Capitals
Canadiens 3x1 Rangers
Canadiens 3x0 Rangers….
And now without Boyle
Rangers 6x1 Panthers
Rangers 8x4 Sabres…
@TheNYRBlog not a chance , he runs in spurts like gabby or maybe he is too comfortable ?
@TheNYRBlog regardless of what happens the rest of the year, i would give him one more year.. then discuss buy out after 2014 if needed
2 good games (against bad teams) should not change any course regarding a buyout for him. The contract is still terrible.
@Jen9400 Not this offseason but if he can't turn this around next year he's gone.
@andreluis_rj gotta say those are some interesting numbers. not sure if it's coincidence or not but it's worth looking at.
@andreluis_rj And your point?? (lol). If he could just take faceoffs and then be instantly jettisoned from the ice he would be great. If only he used that big body to punish and cause misery by the net he could be a great piece of the Ranger puzzle, and would have a few goals to his credit, even with his lead foot skating prowess.
@andreluis_rj If you are implying that boyle prevents us from scoring goals, it's a reach. Its coincidental nothing more. One player can't influence the flow of the game to the extent you are suggesting. This isn't basketball. You can not like him, its fine thou.
If he never comes back the Rangers will be better off for it!
10 goals at $7.5mm? is bad! And the 3 last night were the luckiest 3 goals scoed you will ever see, 2 off skates and 1 the goalie just plain missed.
@rae825 I'm with you 100%.
@TheNYRBlog not if Torts is still here.
@johnpal $6,666,666.00 actually. lucky? yeah, but all the goals counted though and they came off of his stick. i didnt recognize him at one point in the game because he was skating hard, handling the puck with one hand and holding someone off with the other. i think things are turning for him. the one thing that you can bet on in life is change. from bad to good and good to bad. dont get me wrong, ive been very down on him all season and cant stand how he has constantly fucked up offensive flow with giveaways that are textbook. but it looks to me like he is turning it around.
@Jen9400 Not his call.
@ivanricov @johnpal @ChrisP His goal scoring is only slightly below his pace of 20-28 a season - I agree, that's not the problem and he's here as a playmaking center. He just hasn't really done that much as a Ranger and last year his numbers were respectable and his clutch goals near the end made us forget that he had many lackluster games during the season but this year it's been pretty bad.
If he came here at $7.5mm to be an assist guy he has failed miserably at that as well. He really hasn't helped Nash and gabby did nothing with him ( or anyone else) so where is the bang for the puck? The Rangers should by hm out and move in a differnt direction especiily with what Brassard has shown so far he can easily become the #1 or 2 center depending on wher eyou place Stephan.
@ivanricov @johnpal @ChrisP I truly hope he's out of his funk, but honestly he has been horrible on the ice, can't win face offs, can't pass, can't control the puck, and a liability on the ice. Keeping him on the top lines and giving him top pp min is a joke and has hurt the team all year. He hasn't come anywhere near earning his bloated salary! Should he be bought out in the off season - I can argue that keeping other younger talents would be more critical, but IF he can return to form he is valuable although I am still not sure he will ever be worth the money he's being paid. Can you blame all the lack of scoring on Ritchie no, but torts refusal to treat him the way he does others is infuriating and hasn't helped spark Ritchie or the team. Would benching or some time at the whale help I don't know, but if a guy is having a bad game torts staples them to the bench unless its Ritchie or delzaster. Individual athletes react differently, but the double standard displayed by torts in his handling of guys that struggle is atrocious!!