Brad Richards hasn't been horrendous this season as evidenced by his 10 points (2g, 8a) in 13 games, which is good for third on the Rangers, but he hasn't been the playmaker we thought he would be centering Rick Nash. Obviously it has gotten to the point where John Tortorella actually had to take Nash off Richards' wing.
Richards is now goalless in this last eight games and has just four assists during that time. He has also generated nothing on the power play, forcing Tortorella to actually take him off it last night.
What's also a bit alarming are the amount of turnovers coming from the Rangers assistant captain. Richards had three last night in a season low 14:50 of ice time as Tortorella benched him in the third period.
Here's Richards on his struggles...
“I think I was just trying too hard. Instead of moving the puck when I had it, I was trying too hard, and that’s why I got myself in jams. I’m smarter than that.”
...so at age 32 is Richards getting old? Is he becoming Chris Drury? I say no. Richards didn't play during the lockout and missed most of camp with the flu. So he's likely not in the shape he'd like to be in and it's showing on the ice as he looks to be a step behind. Hopefully last night's benching is a bit of a wakeup call for him. If not then the next seven years of his contract are going to be a nightmare. A complete longshot, but you have to wonder if Richards doesn't turn this around would the Rangers actually discuss using their last amnesty buyout on him this summer or next summer?
...Richards struggles are most evident on the power play. He's not setting anyone up or moving with the puck to create mismatches. Wasn't he brought in here to change that around last year? Oh no, that was Gaborik three years ago. Oh wait, I mean Nash this year.
...i also wonder if Richards recently broken up with a girlfriend because we all remember how his game went into the toilet when Olivia Munn dropped him like a bad habit last season.
Tortorella noted that Richards struggles have nothing to do with his effort.
I get that he needs to step up & do something to help our PP, but I don't think he's doing a bad job otherwise. If you want to compare him to Nash, I gotta be honest...other than his filthy goal during SO vs. Bruins, what has Nash done that's so terrific? I am not impressed. And I'm sorry but I don't credit anyone with making Hagelin play better than Hags himself! He was on Torts' s-list after a bad penalty...got his butt nailed to the pine & has come out flying, ever since. That is to his own credit...his legs make him fast, not someone else's hands - he makes things happen.
You are full of shit; yes he is a millionaire and has struggled last couple of games & notably last night. But based on what he did last year during the season & playoffs now all of a sudden he is shit? Really? All of you should throw your stuff in the trash & get on the devils web site because they are in first place.
I'm willing to give him a chance. During lockout he was hands on helping people clean out their homes, and rebuild after Sandy. And he didn't have the press following him around. He personally raised over $50,000. Yes he needs to show up more on the ice, but so do a lot of our boys. They're all in a funk.
its a shame because there are alot of players who make what he makes that i would trade him for in a heartbeat.... because our teams already good without him playing well
ive been saying it all year.. richards hurts our powerplay... he tries to force passes that arent there... he doesnt get his shot through from the point.. he doesnt move around at all... im against forwards playing the point on the power play personally unless someone has an absolute cannon wich richards absolutely does not have... id use him as a forward on the second line of power play.... gaborik nash callahan..... stepan richards hagelin... also i wouldnt mind seeing boyle get propped in front of the net more on the powerplay... i also think our d needs time to shine on the powerplay... not a fan of girardi on the powerplay but mcdonagh del zotto stralman and staal all move the puck pretty well
I totally buy the "trying too hard" thinking. Although I think it's more a case of "thinking too much." I said this after the last Tampa game as well, but Richards has just been holding onto pucks too long and passing up open shot/passing lanes because of it. He always seems to skip an opportunity to do something good with the puck and then a defender gets on top of him, he panics and it forces him to make a poor decision. Lately that's been resulting in a turnover or just pulling himself or a teammate out of position. Obviously especially noticeable on the powerplay.
I think he's good enough that he'll come back around soon but for now it's just painful to watch and has cost us a LOT of good opportunities. If he plays like this again on Sunday, I'd honestly love to see him scratched against the Habs. It'll never happen but I think he's been hurting us more than helping so far.
I just hope that we don't have another Gomez in Richards. So far he's no lived up to the huge contract he signed last year. I don't know whar it is about supposed super stars signed by the Rangers. With the exeption of Yagre,they all turn out to be duds. Hope Nash wont be like them because even though he haven't scored like he suppose to, he is a stud on the ice and players like Hags is benefitting by him.
They better be ready for Montreal because thy're playing really good this year.
Let Richards sit some more. He looks tired, and frankly weak on the puck, glad Torts benched him last night only for him to come back in and turn the puck over (again). Dude looks so unfocused. When is Sullivan gonna be benched?? Oh wait, he's a coach and therefore isn't accountable. Our PP is going to (has) killed us. UNACCEPTABLE. Do we have the worst % in the league???
@Iron Mike Another guy who is week on the puck is Gaborik I watched him last night and I was amazed how week he is with the puck along the boards.I' am huge fan of his but it looks to me that he is afraid to get hit.I just wonder if his shoulder is a 100%.
richards has looked like shit so far this season. who knows whats going on with him. one thing thats for sure is that he is going to be around awhile. its not time to start talking about buying him out etc etc. at least the coaching staff is aware of it and are acting on it. i am FAR more worried about the fucking powerplay. what are we at now? like 5 for 46? that's a lot of goals missing. thats a lot of wins.
most of the damn team looks like they are not in game shape. the coaching staff is using video practices because team leadership went to the coach recently and said that practice is wearing them out and slowing them down in games (learned this from the msg show "behind the bench"). sure, some players went over seas and played some games. sure, nash played a lot but others? not so much and they were back in nyc early.
therefore, i think the team is tired, not in game shape, not physically practicing a lot and have nothing in place (LIKE A FUCKING PP COACH) to change the PP. you cant just put all of the highest salaries out on the ice and expect goals while they all look timid to the point where it turns into a 1/2 speed passing clinic.
richards is NOT the main issue right now. he has enough pride to bounce back, make changes and bring on change.
Really it's not just Richards. The question should be why can't this team put together more than 1 game of intensity. All playing strong one game - lame the next. We need 60 minutes every night not a period here ,a game there. Every night, 60 minutes from everyone.
Benching get's old - after a while players don't respond to that treatment. Find another way Torts. effin Power Play - we cant score 5 on 3 - it's a disgrace.
PS In other news, will somebody please destroy Matt Cooke - enough already from this toilet log.
The Rangers have some challenges. They may have had a bit less skill last year, but their unbelievable toughness and grinding made up for it. Had they been able to keep the team together (and it was unreasonable to do so considering the costs) they would probably win many more than they lost, including playoff series. So now they have gained a bit in talent (who can argue Nash's ability to single-handedly create plays in the O-zone with his strength and skill), but lost a ton of grinding. Hagelin should not be the best board worker on the team, but given his speed and never giving up on the play he often is. Boyle is not the same as he was (though he played better last night) and I agree that he is knocked of his feet far too easily considering his size. The line combinations that seem to work are the ones where there is at least one (and preferably two) hard workers and one "skill" player. Having Gaborik and Richards on the same line plays like one of those old video games where the small players lose the puck whenever they are touched. Cally is obviously that grinder on any line he is on (and with finishing skill). Hagelin seems to muck it up for Nash and Stepan. I say break up that fourth line and have Gabby play with one of them and Richards another one. Finesse lines no longer work in the NHL on a regular basis. Sure, they may look good on some nights when the other team may be on it's heels, or not fully committed, but when the other team is fully engaged (as in the playoffs) it simply doesn't work.
Why can't Torts see this???
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@kicker75 I like those line combo's, except I would separate Richards and Gabby. They are both too easy to knock off the puck. How about:Hags-Halpern - Nash
Miller - Richards - Cally
Powe - Stepan - Gabby
Pyatt - Boyle - Asham
WISH they had Sauer back, but he is done...for good. Hope he can get healthy.LOL for your PP...love it. How about the guys they have actually skating. The Rangers PP is like an exercise in making the box defense look perfect. Skate, skate, skate. This BS I hear about finding a pointman who can get the puck through the lanes is ridiculous. There ARE no lanes without getting the defense to have to MOVE.
In fact, most of their problems could be fixed by skating: neutral zone wall play; power play; defense (how many times have you seen a NYR player gliding along with someone trying to stick check? How about hauling butt and knocking him off the puck with a shoulder. As often as it is done against them you would figure the NYR might begin to notice that....IT WORKS.
Lockout season, wait until another full season happens before we question anyone's play. This season should just be a test run for this ranger team.
I'm not too concerned about Richie as far as this season goes. He has been silent for the most part and that is probably due to Richie not being in game shape. He'll get back into the swing of things. As for using the buyout on him, this is something I have been thinking about for some time. I believe that if the Rangers plan on keeping the young core of guys, Richie may have to agree to restructure his deal or they may end up buying him out. I don't think it's as much of a longshot as you think Kev. I think it's a very realistic possibility.
@JoshKaye I've been thinking this to, but I have to think there's some sort of rule in the CBA about a player being bought out and then resigning with the same team, otherwise you're basically just pulling the money off your cap hit but still keeping the player.
@johnnyb3910 Yeah probably, I meant restructure his deal before thinking about buying him out. I would imagine that a team is allowed to do that in the NHL.
Claudine Caruso 6.6 million a year players are supposed to be difference makers and he has had some clutch goals for sure. But he is notba difference maker, doesn't make players around him better and was supposed to be this supreme pp qb and that isn't case. Look at Nash and how well Hags is playing with him.
@GLENsatherVSglennDANZIG Why 6 years, he have yet to live up to the big contract he signed. Not even last year @ 12 million a year the guy should be good enough to be a game changer and Richards is far from that.
I'll say if he is struggling all season, a buyout should be seriusely considered.
So when does Sather pull off a "Gomez for Mcdonagh"-esque trade that gets rid of Richards.... A year? two years? five years? This guy better start to play hockey, or maybe he should be sent down to the whale. He has been almost invisible the entire year. I don't care how many points he has.
Also, I think Torts messed up. If you bench Richards then bench him. If you are trying to tell someone they are not playing well by not playing them in the third, why put him back on in OT? Completely goes against what he was trying to do in the third period by benching him.
Without him, Gabby doesn't score that goal last night. I don't get what was so awful about Richie's game?
not sure why anyone would be enamoured about Boyle 'responding' to his benching. Except for a few early shifts he looked like the same old Boyle - on his butt a lot. Seems like Torts was playing for the tie in the 3rd by benching Richie and using Boyle almost every other shift
@sureshore Chris Kreider better not be scratched on Sunday, or Torts is trying to play some kind of joke on this team... Can we send boyle down to learn how to skate?
6.6 hit cap till 2019-20 for player on wrong side of 30 with declining skills/stats. They would be crazy notto buy him out or trade him to cap floor type team because salary cap stays same but actual salary gies down
I'd say the most probable outcome is he comes out of it and plays his game. all of you are nuts with this buyout talk.
I think Richie will be alright. Like Kevin mentioned, he didn't play during the lockout plus he missed camp with the flu. He looks a little slow, like he doesn't have his legs yet. I like the benching. Richie's a competitor so hopefully he takes a page from Boyler's book and comes out like a mad man on Sunday.
I agree about Del Z. I think he looks terrible right now. He makes at least one awful long pass that goes for an icing each game. Check the dude's eyes too, because I don't understand how you can be a foot away from the net and miss it by 3 feet. Wasn't even close.
we all forgetting he saved our season less than a year ago. give the guy some slack. players go through slumps.
If there's anybody to blame its torts and his love obsession with delzotto, the kid is a nightmare in his own zone, I ask all of you Sunday against Washington to just follow him for a shift in his own zone it's embarrassing. Last night on Martins breakaway (granted biron made an incredible glove save) delzotto once again was caught deep and was not back on d which gave up the breakaway, lol I was screaming "get back!" Before Martin even had the puck through the neutral zone. I know we're thin at d but at this point is rather see emminger or Bickel because if we're going to constantly get burned is rather have some toughness at the blue line than that wast of space, he's awful.
@Cmd16 I wouldn't mind seeing Bickel out there. I love how against the flyers Sestito threw that hit on Halpern and Stu dropped the gloves immediately and put him in his place. I feel we're lacking that at the moment.
@TheNYRBlog personally, I think he is depressed after seeing how boring his "Beginnings" episode was. zzzzzzzzzzzzz
Ok so I understand Richie getting taken off the PP last night but WHY was Del Zotto put back on it? He was horrible! The only reason I can surmise is that Torts wanted to rest Staal and Girardi to face Tavaris