Brad Richards

Tortorella says Richards struggles because he “cares so much”


It’s no secret that Brad Richards has struggled this season with the New York Rangers. The team isn’t doing as well as they did last year, the offense is struggling, and they’re fighting to get into playoff position.

While Richards had a strong game on Thursday night with Rick Nash’s return, Rangers coach John Tortorella offered up a different explanation for why his top centerman has had trouble this year as he shared on the team’s website.

“I think Brad played his best game of the season on Thursday,” said Tortorella. “He cares so much, and sometimes I wish he didn’t care as much because it paralyzes him a little bit. He allowed himself to play, and you could just see the flow in his game (Thursday). It’s encouraging.”

Of all the reasons for a guy to struggle, caring too much is up there as one of the more unique ones. That said, with the team playing the way they have, trying too hard can lead to mistakes and squeezing the stick a little too tight. Now that the Rangers are getting healthy again, maybe a few other guys can help Richards not care quite so much.

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: Bullet dodged?