Sep 17, 2013, 10:55 PM EST
The Columbus Blue Jackets face a new challenge in joining the Metropolitan Division via realignment, so perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that head coach Todd Richards is getting worked up about preseason games.
From Sunday to Tuesday, Richards has questioned his team’s efforts more than the results, emphasizing that they can’t just flip a switch when the regular season begins.
On Sunday, Richards downplayed an OT exhibition win against the Pittsburgh Penguins, bringing up the team’s Oct. 4 season opener.
“We can’t expect come Oct. 4 that we’re going to pick up right where we left off,” Richards said on Sunday. “We still have to work hard.”
Two days later, the Blue Jackets played a pair of preseason games, with one group beating the Minnesota Wild’s 3-1* and another losing to the Buffalo Sabres 3-1. Richards sounded like a broken record after those games tonight.
“One thing concerns me: are we waiting for Oct. 4? We can’t just turn it on then,” Richards said. “Your effort should never be questioned at what you do. Everything we got last year was through our effort.”
So, to review: Richards thinks that the days before Oct. 4 are important, even if the games don’t count until then.
All joking aside, it’s an important message that other NHL head coaches are likely trying to send as well, Richards just happens to be sending it repeatedly in the media.
* – Interesting side note: assistant coach Craig Hartsburg raved about the split-squad he coached in Minnesota on Tuesday, so maybe Richards merely needs to get through to the other chunk of the team.
- More bad luck for the B’s — Connolly out 6 weeks with fractured finger 18
- Fehr willing to give Panthers ‘a reasonable opportunity’ to redevelop market 36
- Video: Isles’ Martin to face hearing for ‘stupid’ knee-on-knee hit 37
- NHL on NBCSN: Reloaded Red Wings, Rangers set to battle tonight 51
- Bernier bests Panthers as Luongo goes from injured (and in street clothes) to back in net 4
- Phaneuf, Cuthbert and Lupul threaten lawsuit after tweet goes to air 59
- Doan: Coyotes rebuild was ‘not my idea, not my ideal situation’ 29
- Video: Kessel says the way Toronto media treats Phaneuf is ‘embarrassing’ 47
- Playoff watch — what the bubble teams need to do 9
- Rutherford: ‘Our guys felt very strongly about reacquiring’ Lovejoy 49
- Wild beat Avs, dying seconds fight set stage for rematch (171)
- Petrovic: Chicago will ‘probably seek revenge’ for Kane injury tonight (82)
- Winners and losers of the 2015 trade deadline (78)
- Trade: Blackhawks acquire Vermette from Arizona for Dahlbeck, first rounder (74)
- Wings get Zidlicky from Devils (74)