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Tortorella says Richards struggles because he “cares so much”

Mar 3, 2013, 1:20 PM EDT

Brad Richards AP

It’s no secret that Brad Richards has struggled this season with the New York Rangers. The team isn’t doing as well as they did last year, the offense is struggling, and they’re fighting to get into playoff position.

While Richards had a strong game on Thursday night with Rick Nash‘s return, Rangers coach John Tortorella offered up a different explanation for why his top centerman has had trouble this year as he shared on the team’s website.

“I think Brad played his best game of the season on Thursday,” said Tortorella. “He cares so much, and sometimes I wish he didn’t care as much because it paralyzes him a little bit. He allowed himself to play, and you could just see the flow in his game (Thursday). It’s encouraging.”

Of all the reasons for a guy to struggle, caring too much is up there as one of the more unique ones. That said, with the team playing the way they have, trying too hard can lead to mistakes and squeezing the stick a little too tight. Now that the Rangers are getting healthy again, maybe a few other guys can help Richards not care quite so much.

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