Brad Richards said earlier this week he’s never been a healthy scratch with John Tortorella as his coach, including their time together from 2000-08 with the Lightning.
But Tortorella did bench the struggling veteran Thursday night.
Richards logged a season-low 14:50 but did have an assist with two shots and three blocked shots. But he also had three giveaways and struggled particularly to generate chances on the power play, which he eventually was taken off of after playing 3:29 on the man advantage.
“I think I was just trying too hard,” Richards said. “Instead of moving the puck when I had it, I was trying too hard, and that’s why I got myself in jams. I’m smarter than that.”
Richards did get two shifts in overtime.
“Yeah, sure,” Richards said when asked if he was happy to get a second chance. “But I’d like to help more than that. But that’s the way it is.”
Tortorella said he does not believe Richards’ issue is one of effort.
“Not at all, no,” Tortorella said. “It’s just a struggle.”
Brad Richards benched for most of third period against Islanders
Bergen Record | Feb 15