When the New York Rangers signed Brad Richards this past summer, they were expecting big numbers from him all season, but especially in the postseason.
Brad Richards regular season numbers were mediocre compared to other seasons he has put up in past seasons. Richards recorded 66 points this season, 25 goals and 41 assists, in 82 games this season. He went through one two month stretch, from January to March, where he scored just 4 goals, and a total of 17 points. During this stretch he told reporters he felt “lost” on the ice, but him and his head coach John Tortorella knew he would get back to form and produce for his team.
In the last 15 games of the regular season Richards posted 7 goals and 13 assists, including back to back two goal games against the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Islanders.
Now, with the Rangers into the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the 2004 Conn Smythe Trophy winner is showing the Ranger faithful why the Rangers went out and got him. Richards leads the team with 4 goals and 9 points this postseason, and has stepped to score big goals, and set up big goals.
In Game 6 of the first round against the Ottawa Senators, a must win game for the Rangers, Richards scored late in the second period on a five on three advantage to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead. Last night in Game 3 against the Washington Capitals, Richards set up the struggling Marian Gaborik for the triple overtime winner, and gave the Rangers a 2-1 series lead over the Caps.
When looking at Brad Richards and the points he puts up, it’s important that people don’t just look at how many goals he has, but when he scores the goals. This is the reason the Rangers went out and signed Brad Richards, they want a player who has made a deep run in the playoffs, and knows how to score goals when his team needs it. It is not a stretch to say that if the Rangers continue on in the playoffs, or win the Stanley Cup, Brad Richards will be the player that everyone will be talking about.
The Rangers continue their Eastern Conference Semifinal against the Washington Capitals on Saturday afternoon in Washington, D.C.