Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Richards quietly puts up big numbers
By Dennis Hall
Stars center Brad Richards wasn't much in the mood to talk about individual accomplishments after the Stars got blasted by Chicago on Tuesday, 5-2.
Richards had an assist in the game to give him 91 points (24 goals, 67 assists) on the season, matching a personal career high. He's only two points away from setting a team record for points in a season since the franchise moved to Dallas -- Mike Modano had 93 points in 1993-94.
Richards is a leader on this team even though he rarely says much. On a night when the Stars were flat offensively, Richards provided a spark with an assist and four shots on goal. That type of effort has been consistent this season: The Stars have underachieved, but it would be much worse if not for Richards' contributions.
"He has that drive to get pucks to the net," coach Marc Crawford said. "Great offensive players have a hunger to score, and Brad has that."
Richards clearly lifts the play of his teammates. Early in the game, he made a hard pass to James Neal in the slot that seemed to catch the young winger off guard as it bounced off his stick and out of the slot. When Richards made a similar pass in the third period, Neal deflected the puck past the goalie for his 27th goal of the season.
As the Stars look ahead to 2010-11, the line of Richards, Neal and Loui Eriksson is a great place to start building. Neal and Eriksson should only get better, while Richards should continue to be one of the NHL's best.