Isles win 4-3 in shootout; Brad Richards benched in 3rd
Brad Richards has not looked like the same player as last season, despite the eight assists and a couple goals.
For the Rangers to compete consistently, Richards has to improve.
Last night, in the 4-3 loss, coach John Tortorella had seen enough---at even strength and on the power play and benched the center in the third period for all but one 47-second shift.
"I had to," said Torts.
Richards, who was listed for three giveaways, said this of his failures on the 1-for-4 power play. “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.” He did start the overtime, but played a season-low 14:50 in total, and was not in the top three listed for the shootout. "I’d like to help more than that. But that’s the way it is.”
It was the fifth NHL game for rookie J.T. Miller, 19, who could been sent back to Hartford before Sunday's game in order for him to retain a year of eligibility on his entry-level contract. Miller played just 9:41 on the wing, not center, just four minutes plus after the first period, with one shot and one hit, on Travis Hamonic.
The Rangers (7-5-1) remain in eighth place in the East, a point out of sixth, with a game in hand on Toronto and Ottawa.... Brian Boyle was quite good in his return after being scratched for three games, with eight hits, five shots on goal and three attempts blocked and missed, and won 9 of 16 faceoffs....Arron Asham, who fought Eric Boulton in the first, played just 2:47...Jeff Halpern won 11 of 14 faceoffs....Martin Biron needed to stop one in the three-goal blitz, but Tortorella said he played well afterward. Agree on the latter....Rangers have off today, will practice Saturday, face Caps Sunday