Brad Richards answers the call

April 24, 2012, by

The Rangers needed to win the game last night. Their entire club had been thoroughly outplayed by the Senators from Game Two through Game Five, and it appeared that the Rangers were getting beaten in every facet of the game (except penalty killing). That is where Brad Richards needed to step up. He was brought in not just for his offensive skill and ability to run the powerplay, but for his leadership and his ability to take over a game when needed. He did just that last night.

Richards may not have been awarded a star of the game last night, but he was instrumental to the Rangers success in forcing Game Seven. As Suit pointed out in his goal breakdown, Richards made a beautiful pass to Derek Stepan to tie the game, and then took a perfect shot to give the Rangers the lead nine minutes later. Those points were critical, and catapulted the Rangers towards their victory.

But it’s more than just the score sheet with Richards. The powerplay looked dominant. Richards was moving the puck around as the quarterback in a way the Rangers haven’t seen since Brian Leetch. They generated chances off crisp passing and cycling the puck. They took shots from the point, forcing the forwards to respect the shot, which opened up opportunities down low. The powerplay wasn’t perfect, but it sure was an improvement.

His presence was shown in the face off circle. Despite an abysmal first period in the face off circle, where Zenon Konopka owned him, Richards won key face off after key face off, and his face off wins were critical in generating scoring chances on the powerplay. Great players make adjustments. It appears Richards made an adjustment in the face off circle, and it showed in the final two periods.

Brad Richards was brought in to fill a hole as a top line center, powerplay quarterback, and leader on this team. While noticeably absent from the scoring sheet in all but two games prior to last night, Richards came alive last night. Maybe it was a long time coming, as there were signs he was coming around prior to last night. But this is the Richards the Rangers need to win. This is the Richards that the Rangers need to see game-in and game-out to even stand a chance.

Categories : Forwards


  1. Leatherneckinlv says:

    In my opinion this was Brad Richards best game as a Ranger. He not only scored, he lead. He was passionate, tenacious and hungry. I was very impressed by him and loved the clip of him animated on the bench talking to the boys. Way to step up Brad,Kudos.

  2. Blueshirt in Paris says:

    Someone once said about faceoffs, its not how many you win but when you win them. And some faceoff greats have been known to lose a few on purpose just to see what the other guy has and to keep some of his tricks up his sleeve until the right time.

  3. Walt says:

    It’s because of Richards that we are getting ready for game 7!

    Lots of people were down on him, but again, he demonstrated why he was awarded the contract he got. Last night he played a clutch game, showing the kids what it means to be a leader.

    It is time for Gabby to start earning his contract. Last night he played well, but he is such a streeky player, lets get hot Marian, we need your scoreing touch!

    Over all, after the first period, the team woke up after Stepan’s goal, what we need is for some of the secondery scoreing to kick in. Game seven Richards will shine again, and I believe that Cally, Gabby, and Dubi will make some contribution in the scoreing column!

    PS: lets add to the Potvan Sucks chant, to include Buttman Sucks.

  4. BOB MINTZ says:

    Over all, after the first period, the team woke up after Stepan’s goal, what we need is for some of the secondery scoreing to kick in


    After last night’s game, I think we should ban the use of the term “kick in”. 🙂


  5. becky says:

    Richies patience on the power play and the way he sees the ice and creates scoring opportunities makes him invaluable. If anyone complains about his goal #, they have no business in discussing hockey. I’ve never played but it doesn’t take a former pro to know that you need an intelligent person out there who can see the larger picture and create opportunities. Hockey is so wonderful because it is a team sport…. I was so proud to see Richards wearing a NYR jersey last night. Great job #19 and the rest of the team, too.

  6. Zen says:

    Hoping Michalek gets suspended. That would take a big offensive weapon away from Ottawa in game 7.

  7. Zen says:

    Sorry… wasn’t specific. He kicked Girardi with his skate. Jeff Skinner got a two game suspension when he did the same thing.l

  8. Tim says:

    I didnt even see the puck leave the ice and into the net because it was so fast. All i see hear is Sam Rosen saying that they scored. I saw the replay an again i didnt see the puck at all. When Richards shot the puck earlier he shot it right into Anderson. He might have scored if he had shot the puck like a foot to the right. I dont know if Torts said he was going to bench anyone but that got the team fired up. Btw, im getting the feeling that the Rangers have more healthy scratches than any other team :/