Originally written on Blue Seat Blogs  |  Last updated 10/17/14
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

Colts punter asks Antonio Brown not to kick him in face

NFL: Luke Kuechly should not have been ejected

Report: Okla. St. players fell asleep in drive-thru, arrested

Oscar Pistorius sentenced to five years in prison

Mike Pettine considered benching Hoyer for Manziel

Percy Harvin speaks out: 'I'm not a perfect person'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Kobe has prevented Lakers from signing top talent

Red Sox may be ready to move Yoenis Cespedes

Alleged details of War Machine's suicide letter released

Austin Davis says Rams security didn't recognize him

LeBron: Bulls are 'much better' than Cavs right now

Redskins to stick with Colt McCoy over Kirk Cousins

NFL Power Rankings Week 7

Floyd Mayweather posts photo evidence of a lost bet

WATCH: Paul George takes court for first time since leg injury

Five most surprising NFL players through seven weeks

WATCH: Boxer viciously attacks referee at Euro Championships

WATCH: Salvador Perez hassles Lorenzo Cain at media session

Lane Kiffin trashed in Tennessee political ad

WATCH: Lawrence Timmons throws up on field during MNF

10 NBA players who could be traded by the All-Star break

WATCH: Jimbo Fisher gets annoyed, cuts interview short

WATCH: Les Miles has classic reaction to dumb question

WATCH: Tennessee coach tried to trip Ole Miss player?

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!

NFL Power Rankings Week 7

Pistorius sentenced to five years

Lane Kiffin trashed in political ad

Details of War Machine's suicide letter leaked

Angry Jimbo Fisher cuts off interview

Is Kobe's deal hurting the Lakers?

Tenn. coach tried to trip Ole Miss CB?

GGG continues his reign of terror

The 6 things that mattered this weekend in the premier league

News station congratulates Gary Payton for TD record

Ray Rice could be back by Week 10?

12 amazing stats from Week 7

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.