Irate Brad Richards improving after cross-check but sits against Islanders
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Brad Richards missed his second straight game Thursday night with neck and back issues after taking a cross-check from behind Sunday by Buffalo's Patrick Kaleta, who was suspended five games.
Richards is improving but remains irate. "I just hope that someone doesn't have to have a broken neck and get carried off on a stretcher for that to sink in that it's just a crazy play," said Richards, who added that his neck and back were "locked up" but that he did not suffer a concussion. "We learn that in Pee Wee: If you see somebody's numbers [on the back of a jersey], you just don't do that. Hopefully, something worse doesn't have to happen where we have to make a point on that."
The veteran center, who is 2-11-13 in 20 games, did not skate earlier in the day at Nassau Coliseum. He said he feels better but is being cautious. "Each day I wake up hoping I can get out and do something," Richards said, "but there's no sense in making it go backwards or not helping the team."
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On Tuesday, he began the morning skate in Westchester but left early. "When you wake up sometimes you just think, 'If I get going, get moving . . . ' " he said. "But that morning, it went the other way, so I just got off and started over."
Being sidelined is "not a long-term thing," Richards said. "I went in pretty hard. I just need to let the body regroup a little bit. Overall, I'm standing here talking about trying to play right now, and that's a few days after, so I'm pretty fortunate."