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01-13-2012, 12:37 PM
Join Date: Aug 2011
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Originally Posted by UnholyPrince View Post
To be fair, Dallas fans warned you guys that Richards wasn't as good as he was being hyped on these boards.

Richards is weird this year. He's not racking up PPPs like he was in Dallas playing with a pure passer like Riberio on the half-wall. Richards got a ton of points playing on the point and just being the shooter with Morrow in front of the net providing a screen. Riberio was really the one making the crazy plays, Richards was just always open on the point for the one timer or his patented SHAS to Eriksson or Riberio for the wide open net.

He also doesn't have the luxury of playing with a talented winger like Eriksson regularly. Richards needs players on his wings who can win puck battles on the boards, but also be in the right place at the right time for his cycling pass. As good as Dubi/Cally have been for him, I don't think they have that hockey intelligence that Eriksson does, and therefore a lot of the grinding goes to waste. What has impressed me is how Richards has changed his game to match his linemates, and become more of the shooter on the line. Where as in the past he'd just continue to cycle until Loui or Neal finished the play.

I'm not sure he'll ever be a PPG player in New York, unless the PP gets fixed drastically. Part of that involves him playing on the point with another great playmaker on the halfboards IMO. Torts is too manic with his PP units, needs to stick with a setup that works for quite a few games to find chemistry:

Callahan in front of the net.
Stepan on the halfwall, directing traffic.
Gaborik along the boards for the cycle, shifts to the hashmarks when we have control.
MDZ or Girardi on the RD for shots or to get it to Stepan/Richards.
Richards on the Left point, for either one timers or shot-passes to Gaborik in open shooting lanes.
When we signed Richards back in July, posters on the forum were penciling him in for 90+ points and I replied back then, "Who the heck is he going to pass to?" We don't have anywhere near the finishers that Dallas has had while Richards was there piling up points. Don't get me wrong, I love Cally and Duby but they pale in comparison to guys like Neal, Ribiero, Erickson and Benn as offensive players.

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