As they begin to square off against the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, it’s no secret that this hasn’t always been the type of year that the New York Rangers were hoping for. They struggled a great deal this year, finishing as the no. 6 seed in the East, much lower than expected.
No player on this roster has been more frustrating to watch than Brad Richards. One of the highest paid players in the league, Richards hasn’t quite been able to get it together at any point during the season. Even a hot streak at the end of the year didn’t make its way into the postseason.
Richards finished the regular season with 34 points in 46 games. Not a terrible total for most, but for a player of Richards’ caliber, 11 goals just isn’t going to get the job done. Even worse, most of those points didn’t come until the final couple of weeks of the regular season.
He went on a six-game point streak towards the end of the regular season, with 11 of his points coming over that span. Of those 11 points, five were goals. So the final six games accounted for nearly half of his total goals on the year.
In the postseason, the frustrations have just continued. Richards has seen a sharp decline in his playing time, and has actually spent quite a bit of time down on the bottom line for his lack of production. The numbers so far in the Stanley Cup Playoffs haven’t been pretty for Richards.
He has just one point in the playoffs to this point. Just one point in seven games. That one point was a goal in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. Other than that, he hasn’t done a single thing on the stat sheet, outside of that minus-1 rating. He’s only winning 47 percent of his draws.
The competition is going to get tougher for the Rangers. Which means that Richards is going to need to find his game again in a hurry. We know it’s there. It was there at the end of the regular season. But if he can’t find it during these playoffs, the Rangers might not last much longer.