Brad Richards cut the question off before it even could be finished, adamant about how much more he likes playing center than wing. “I feel way better there,” Richards told The Post after Friday’s practice, as the team prepares for Saturday night’s game against the Hurricanes at the Garden. “I feel more involved on the ice, overall in all areas.” Because of what was perceived as a glut of centers, new coach Alain Vigneault started the season with Richards at the wing, a position he almost never played through the first 12 seasons of his career. Although he played his best hockey in years, scoring four goals in the first five games, Vigneault moved him back to his natural position as a pivot starting on Tuesday against the Islanders, a game the Rangers (5-7-0) won 3-2. “The Islanders game, it just felt good to be back there,” Richards said. “For a game or two there, my feet weren’t moving as much on the wing, especially the off wing. I need my feet moving and when you’re a center, you’re in motion a lot more, you have to get back, it really forces you to skate.” It helped that Richards showed some versatility, especially in light of the fact that the team has dealt with significant injuries to Rick Nash (out indefinitely since Oct. 8 with a concussion), Ryan Callahan (out at least another six to nine days with a broken thumb), and Carl Hagelin, who made his debut in the Islanders’ game. “I thought the start of the year, it would be something we’d try,” Richards said. “Then with all those injuries, the way we were going, I figured I might get bounced around a little bit. It seemed like every time we’d get a line going, someone would get hurt.
Rangers’ Richards thrilled to be back at center
New York Post | Nov 2