Season thoughts: Brad Richards

April, 17, 2010
4/17/10
9:00
AM CT
Stars center Brad Richards talked about his season and his thoughts on the future during post-season interviews earlier this week.

Evaluating his season personally: “It’s tough right now to evaluate individually. That’ll probably come as the offseason goes on, I’ll think about that. It’s tough when you’re not where you want to be this week and the playoffs are starting. It’s more about the team. When I get into training and get set to do what I want to do and accomplish during the summer to get back and be better next year, then I’ll reflect on what happened this year.”

Frustration of missing the playoffs: “It’s tough. Playoffs are the best part about our game. It’s a long season sometimes, but the playoffs are a clean slate, it’s so much fun. I was fortunate enough to win, so I know how much fun it can be. Even if you don’t win the Stanley Cup, it’s still the best time of year, the best time to play hockey, and it bites. It’s not fun at all. I’m still a fan. I’ll watch a little bit, but it’s a lot tougher when you’re not involved. It’s just so much fun, everything’s heightened, the spotlight is on you every night. Hopefully we’re there next year, because it’s been two years in a row and that’s not good enough for sure.”

What happened to the team following the Olympic break: “It’s a crapshoot coming out of the break. The first game, you never know what kind of game you’re going to have. But I think that started the ball rolling in the wrong direction, that first game. The next game wasn’t any better. We didn’t respond quick enough to get out of that hole, and we had to go on a tough road trip, and when you dig yourself a hole like that, it’s tough. Some teams went the other way and only lost two or three games – teams like Detroit, that we were battling with. It’s tough, but you can point at that out of the break. You can point all through the season. Why we didn’t win more than two games in a row in October? Those points are the same points that we didn’t get after the break, so there’s a lot of things that went on through the schedule that we’d all like to change right now.”

On what kind of void there might be in dressing room if Modano retires: "I’ve only played two years here, so I’m guys like Brenden, who have grown up with Mo, it’s a lot different. But he’s still the face of the Dallas Stars, and has been for many years. He’s accomplished a lot here. Anytime you think of Dallas Stars, anytime in my lifetime, since I was 12-years-old, you always associate Mike Modano. It’s been an emotional week. I’m glad I was part of the last home game here. It was a pretty fun atmosphere, and I’ve never been part of something like that. Mo doesn’t open up too much, he’s a private guy, so all that will be decided in the summer. I’m sure he has a lot of different thoughts in his head, but if that was it, it was fun to play with him and say I was his teammate.”

On if it was a tough transition from Dave Tippett's system to that of Marc Crawford: “There’s a lot of talk about systems and stuff, it can change in some way how you play, but it’s still the game of hockey. You’ve still got to go and execute. The style might be a little different, but it’s still hockey, and a lot of teams play all different kinds of styles. It’s up to your players to adapt to that, and it’s on us. I never want to say it’s totally different. I don’t want to complicate things, because hockey is hockey. You go on the ice, and you’ve got to execute. We didn’t get it done.”

Importance of staying healthy this season: “It was very important. I think I only missed two games, and that kind of bothers me a little bit. 82 is always nice to play, but I got 80 in after a pretty rough year injury-wise. It was the first year I went through injuries like that and missed games. To come back and get more games played, get a fuller season, and get comfortable, it was big for my mind. The playoff run was fun when I got traded here, but last year wasn’t too much fun, so it was good to get a good year living in the city, and get to know the organization more and everything around the organization, and play a lot more games than I did the year before.”
Richard Durrett joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He writes about colleges, the Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers. Richard spent nine years at The Dallas Morning News covering the Rangers, Stars, colleges, motorsports and high schools.

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