Blue Notes

Steve Zipay takes you inside the locker room, home and on the road, with the New York Rangers, and also writes about the NHL, off and on the ice.

Torts: Have to be careful on 'overcoaching' Richards

Brad Richards, in his first season in New York, is 15-17-31 in 46 games and a minus-3. Coach John Tortorella had some interesting remarks on the veteran's mental makeup and about allowing him to play and not "overcoaching":

Torts: "I thought Richie just had the puck more (against the Bruins). He didn’t think about passing, he had a couple plays in the slot where the release was there, just got the puck on net and had couple good scoring chances."

"Richie can’t think, he’s just gotta play, be creative and allow himself to play. (When he's not helping the team) it buries him. He's such a student of the game, and cares about what he’s trying to do to help the hockey club....it’s screws him up. He assesses his game, he’s still learning our team concept defensively, it’s constantly on his mind."

"I have high expectations for Brad, I’ve known him forever. Now he’s an older guy, we haven’t seen him for years, I need to be careful to allow him to play and not overcoach him, because he does a lot of the assessing himself, and that’s been a process I’m going through also.  I think sometimes I haven’t helped with certain players along the way, where I get involved and maybe they need to figure it out themselves. I’m learning more and more about players that way."

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