Brad Richards, the New York Rangers' first-line center stepped foot on the ice for the first time since training camp opened Wednesday after missing the first three days of training camp with the flu.
Although the Rangers didn't skate as a team Wednesday, Richards said he planned to skate himself following a team meeting. The alternate captain said he was feeling better and says he expects to play when the team opens up Saturday against the Boston Bruins.
"It was just bad timing," Richards said. "You just miss being out there and doing some game-situation stuff and working with my linemates, that’s the biggest thing. But … in the big scheme of things, three days is probably not, when you look back on it, gonna make a big difference."
He said it's better this happened this year as opposed to last season, as he's more familiar with the game plan.
"If this were to happen last year, obviously it would have probably been a lot harder," Richards said. "But I know most of the guys, know the coaches, know the system. … Everything is a lot easier this year, and everything is on track."
Richards, 32, played in all 82 regular season games for the Rangers last season — his first with the team — and was third on the team in goals (25) and led all Rangers in assists (41). He shined in the postseason, leading the team in both goals (six) and assists (nine) in their run to the conference finals.
The Rangers are the expected favorite in the Eastern Conference this season, with the addition of Rick Nash to play alongside Richards on the team's first line. Having a healthy Richards will be vital to the team's success.Tags: Boston Bruins, Brad Richards, Hockey, New York, New York Rangers, NHL, Rick Nash