Rangers Notebook: Brad Richards a bust?

John Tortorella offered a suggestion to the NHL on Thursday in order to prevent the call that might have cost his team at least one point Tuesday night.
 
Tortorella believes the NHL should discuss implementing a NFL-style immediate booth replay in the final minute of a game. The NFL looks at all reviewable plays in the final two minutes of each half.
 
“I think the NFL gets it right,” Tortorella said during an expansive pre-game press conference. “In the NFL it’s the last two minutes; it’s a booth review to get the call right. I think — and I haven’t thought it all through — maybe the last minute of a NHL hockey game, get that call right. Maybe you do have to go upstairs and make sure it’s the right call.
 
“I think it’s more important to make sure we get the call right in those [end of game] situations. The last minute of the game try to get that call right.”
 
Brad Richards, a bust?
 
Not in his coach’s eyes.
 
Richards entered last night’s match with 16 goals and 34 points in 51 games this season. However he only has six points (three goals and three assists) in his last 14 games. Richards’s last multi-point game was the 4-1 over the Panthers on Dec. 30, in which he recorded a goal and an assist. Richards leads the Rangers with 13 power play points.
 
He ranks 85th in the league in points.
 
“I put him on the power play the other night and he makes four plays that none of our other guys could make. He makes a play in the last minute of the game, just a little pass to Cally, and we end up scoring a goal. It’s called back, but it’s a great play,” Tortorella said. “We have to be really careful with Brad when it’s not points coming. It’s a struggle there for him, but he’s still capable of making big plays at key times.   
 
“He’ll work his way through it. This guy is going to be a big part before it’s all said and done.”
 
Winter in Michigan
 
The NHL announced in a press conference at Comerica Park Thursday morning that the Red Wings will meet the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2013 Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium.
 
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman approximated that more than 115,000 will be in attendance for the sixth annual outdoor game.
 
Michigan Stadium has hosted an outdoor hockey game in its history, a 5-0 win by Michigan over Michigan State on Dec. 11. Rangers’ left wing Carl Hagelin scored two goals and had an assist in that game.
 
Giants in attendance

There was a group of 15 New York Giants players and coaches in attendance last night, the most notable of which were Chris Snee, David Diehl, David Baas, Kareem McKenzie and Jake Ballard.

The Giants received a standing ovation when introduced during a first period stoppage of play.


Follow Rangers beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter
@DenisGorman.


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