Originally written on Blue Seat Blogs  |  Last updated 11/16/14
Photo: Kevin Hoffman, USA TODAY Sports Brad Richards has been a bit of a disappointment this year. He hasn’t been consistent, and he hasn’t been that top line center and powerplay quarterback that the Rangers thought they were getting. That said, Richards has been getting hot at the right time, and his hat trick last night could be just the beginning of a strong run for the veteran center. In ten games this April, Richards has been scoring at a point per game pace, with five goals and five assists. The points have come in bunches (eight were in three games, five in the past two games), but there’s more to this than the scoring. Richards is finally starting to do the little things, and his luck is beginning to change as he is starting to get those bounces he wasn’t getting earlier this season. Last night’s hat trick is the perfect example of how Richards is doing the right thing and getting rewarded. On his first goal, the little thing that Richards did was throw the puck to the net. It was something he hadn’t done that much this season, as he was pressing too hard and trying to make a play. Sometimes the right play is get the puck to the net. He did on this goal, and it wound up going in the net. Little thing number one: Get the puck to the net. On his second goal, he and Mats Zuccarello made great individual plays to keep the puck in the Sabres’ zone. Then he found some open ice behind Jhonas Enroth and attached a loose puck behind the netminder. Little things numbers two, three, and four: Keep the zone, find open ice, charge the net. His third goal was a bit lucky, but it goes back to little thing number one: Get the puck to the net. You never know what is going to happen when you do. Those three goals, and the ten points in ten games, has put Richards on pace for a 56-point season in a full year. That’s not what you’d expect from him, but it’s also a lot better than his previous pace. His three goals also put him on pace for a 20-goal season over 82 games. If there’s one person the Rangers need to get hot heading into the playoff run, it’s Brad Richards. If he can get going, then the Rangers, with the way their current lineup is structured, have a very balanced top-nine that can provide scoring, grit, and defense. Without Richards, then the Rangers have maybe two lines that can produce. Whether you love Richards or hate him, he’s an integral part of this club’s success for at least this season and next. If he gets hot, then the Rangers are a dangerous opponent in the playoffs. Tweet
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Darrelle Revis, Ndamukong Suh exchange words after game

Curt Schilling's son causes scare at Logan Airport

Manziel's girlfriend tells Browns to put Johnny Football in

Scalpers in Detroit selling free Jets-Bills tickets for $125

Report: Redskins could bench Robert Griffin III

Broncos have meeting with scoreboard operator

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Cowboys could still pursue Adrian Peterson

Manny Pacquiao: I'm ready to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr.

John Calipari gets daughter's birthday wrong

Carson: Hall of Fame career not worth concussion problems

Tiger hires new swing coach

Is Sting making his WWE debut at Survivor Series?

WATCH: Marshawn Lynch's awesome post game interview

WATCH: Odell Beckham Jr makes catch-of-the-year

Video: RG3 gets crushed, his linemen look unfazed

WATCH: Dominic Raiola tries to cheap-shot Patriots' lineman

WATCH: Janoris Jenkins returns interception for 99 yd TD

WATCH: TY Hilton chokes up in emotional postgame interview

WATCH: Chris Clemons accidentally knocks ref's hat off

WATCH: Aaron Rodgers throws nifty TD across his body

WATCH: LeGarrette Blount does Antonio Brown's end zone dance

WATCH: Eagles take opening kickoff 107 yards for TD

Western Carolina coach blasts Kirk Herbsreit

WATCH: Young reporter asks Helfrich funny question

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Dominic Raiola admits to dirty play

WATCH: Revis, Suh exchange words

Manziel's GF wants her man to play

Cowboys to pursue Adrian Peterson?

Cal gets daughter's bday wrong

Carson: Career not worth concussions

Report: Gundy pursuing Florida job

Tiger hires new swing coach

WATCH: Jameis Winston shoves ref

Florida DL supports Will Muschamp with eye black

Jay Gruden: RG3 has been 'coddled'

LeBron: Love needs to 'demand' the ball

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.