by Patrick Hoffman on 02/14/13 at 09:28 PM ET
While the game at Madison Square Garden between the New York Rangers and New York Islanders has yet to be settled, one interesting development has been the benching of Rangers' forward Brad Richards.
It was easy to see that Richards has had trouble tonight, both on even strength and on the power play. For Rangers' head coach John Tortorella, however, the main concern has to be Richards' poor performance on the power play.
Richards has not looked confident with the puck, was slow skating the puck out of his own zone and in general, has just had a tough time moving the puck. One could probably credit the Islanders' aggresive play on the penalty kill but it has been like this for Richards and the rest of the club's power play all season long.
There is no doubt that when Richards is at his best, he is one that creates offense by not being afraid to shoot the puck and being able to find the open lanes with his pin-point passing. This season, and even parts of last season, Richards has had trouble doing both when the team has the man advantage.
Obviously, the blame should not be placed solely on Richards's shoulders but as the team's supposed power play quarterback, he needs to get it going in order for this team to have success moving forward with the man advantage.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
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