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Richards’ struggles leave him on Rangers bench

Feb 15, 2013, 1:38 AM EDT

Philadelphia Flyers v New York Rangers Getty Images

Brad Richards went without a point in the last two games prior to Thursday.

Despite registering an assist in a 4-3 shootout loss to the New York Islanders, Rangers coach John Tortorella felt the veteran center could use some time on the bench to think about his recent struggles.

Richards was benched for almost the entire third period against the Islanders.

“Yeah, I mean it’s a pretty big hole, but I felt I had to,” Tortorella told Katie Strang of

Richards hasn’t scored a goal in eight games, since Jan. 26 against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

He was also pinned to the bench during the shootout, which lasted just two rounds. Frans Nielsen and John Tavares scored in the skills competition to give the Islanders the win.


  1. Jack Bauer 24 - Feb 15, 2013 at 2:37 AM

    over paid , over rated

    • chanceoffleury1 - Feb 15, 2013 at 11:10 AM

      Not really his fault. The Rangers signed him like he was a 25 year old forward, not the player that he was: a 31 year old former star that was starting to fall out of his prime.

      Perhaps they need to ship him back down to Tampa where maybe him and Lecavalier can respark some of their 2004 flame with St. Louis. Such a magical line they were.

  2. zachfelchesryan - Feb 15, 2013 at 2:57 AM

    Personally, I despise the Rags but from a hockey standpoint Torts needs to go.
    He’s benched practically everyone but himself.
    At some point he needs to point the finger at himself.

    • hockeywithdrawal - Feb 15, 2013 at 7:41 AM

      I’m actually curious how NYR fans feel about that myself – seems he’s sending a lot of personal messages lately and singling the entire team out one by one.

    • barkar942 - Feb 15, 2013 at 1:19 PM

      If I had been Torts last night, he would have been sitting from about 5 minutes into the second. Go look at the tape and see how many weak turnovers he had last night. Nothing wrong with what Torts did at all!

  3. sabatimus - Feb 15, 2013 at 7:14 AM

    I love how Tucker calls it a skills competition. Because that’s basically what it is: a gimmick that looks like it belongs only in an All-Star Game.

    • boltsfan777 - Feb 15, 2013 at 11:58 AM

      Yeah, it’s like settling a baseball game with a home run derby or a basketball game with a game of around the world or pig.

  4. rpiotr01 - Feb 15, 2013 at 7:54 AM

    Biron isn’t beating anyone in a shootout.

    More to the point, Richards has shown very little of the hallmark creativity that made him so coveted by the NYR. As a Ranger fan it pains me to say it because I like the guy, but he’s been a disappointment. Not a Drury/ Gomez level disappointment, but he’s not doing what he’s paid to do, starting with the power play.

  5. xflyersx - Feb 15, 2013 at 8:03 AM

    He’s my 2nd center on my fantasy team and I just can’t decide if I should drop him, trade him, or ride out the slump.

  6. hattrk - Feb 15, 2013 at 8:44 AM

    Torts loves to have all 5 guys down low in the defensive zone then gets mad because they can’t get the puck out of their zone.
    The last good PP they had was with Jagr. Since then they have been terrible. They stand still on the perimeter passing the puck around. Would it hurt to put a man or 2 in front of the net and go for tips, deflections, and rebounds?

  7. duckmcnuggets - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:05 AM

    The only solution is to run more shot-blocking drills in practice. And then yell at the players for twenty minutes. Go Torts!

  8. johnstone17 - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:05 AM

    He has looked lost for the past two weeks. Hopefully just a slump.

  9. faceoff77 - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    I personally love the shootout. You call it a skills competiton, but isn’t hockey a skill game. Teams with better skill should win.

    • chanceoffleury1 - Feb 15, 2013 at 11:14 AM

      Well, what if they have better defensive skill? As a Pens fan I’m not gonna say I hate the shootout, but I’m also not gonna say I can’t see why other teams like Nashville and NYR hate it. The shootout was not made for teams that run defensive systems.

  10. biffnasty - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:33 AM

    shootouts are a joke..terrible really. hate the charity point.

  11. bcisleman - Feb 15, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    One thing Ranger management never seems to get is that stacking up stars doesn’t necessarily improve the team. Since Richards has come to the Rangers, 9th round draft pick Matt Moulson has more points than Richards. Moulson has also scored more goals than any of the highly priced, highly touted Ranger “stars”.

    • withseidelinn - Feb 15, 2013 at 10:48 AM

      Couldn’t agree more. Sather seems to think looking good on paper equally equates to performance on the ice. The Rangers are a good team but I think they must just be a little too crowded with the superstars.

  12. manchestermiracle - Feb 15, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    Looking more and more like the Kings got the right Brad.

    • misterchainbluelightning - Feb 15, 2013 at 12:51 PM


  13. heals44 - Feb 15, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    torts is the main reason plus hank why the rangers are contending for a cup every year. they buy into a system which works and has proven to work over torts tenure as the head coach. Richards will be fine last year he put up good numbers and came up big in the playoffs. clearly just in a small slump and he and the rangers will be fine. everyone is chrissing themselves

  14. pwilson264 - Feb 15, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    brad richards will be just fine, allot off players now and then go into a scoring slump, he’s a proven player and he will rebound. that’s when you need your other players to step it up,you can’t depend on one or two key players being your scoring power. speaking of power, dam the rangers power play is a joke, frustrating, that’s what need’s to address more importantly then a player’s slump.

    • misterchainbluelightning - Feb 15, 2013 at 2:47 PM

      Allot isn’t the word you’re looking for, and neither is alot since alot isn’t a word. A…Lot is what you want

  15. pwilson264 - Feb 16, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    by the way my friend, allot is a word look in dictionary, it means to , distribute as a share ,assign apportion, or allocate. by the way is this all you have to comment on. o’ wait maybe comment isn’t a word either.

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