Torts Says Richards "Will Be Fine"

Not surprisingly Brad Richards did not join his teammates on ice Monday morning for practice. Instead the veteran center sought treatment for his sore body at the MSG Training Center after absorbing a vicious hit from behind delivered by Buffalo's Patrick Kaleta during Sunday's 3-2 Rangers victory.

Richards, who shared his anger and disgust about the hit following the game, was unavailable for further comment on Monday. However head coach John Tortorella said of Richards' condition, "He'll be fine."

On Sunday night Tortorella addressed the illegal hit on a defenseless Richards this way, "It's probably one of the most dangerous hits I've seen...it's disgusting...it's a lack of respect. Each team wants to beat the other team, but you need to respect what's going on on the ice."

Most players chose not to say too much about the frightening play after practice, though Carl Hagelin offered, "You could see a lot of guys on the bench got really mad and upset, and we wanted to take it to 'em after that happened. We rallied around that power play; and it was good to see Richie come back."

After a trip to the dressing room Richards did return to the game, even playing during the power play created by Kaleta's five-minute major. Richards ended up logging nearly 22 minutes of ice-time in the win, though after the game he admitted that he expected to be very sore when he woke up on Monday morning.

Kaleta has a 3:00 PM hearing with the NHL's disciplinary office on Monday to review his hit on Richards.

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With the Flyers coming to town Tuesday, the Rangers know full well that their homestand can end up being viewed as a success or a filure depending on tomorrow's result. A win over Philly on Tuesday would give the Rangers a 3-1-0 homestand and send them off on a positive note for a stretch that will see the Blueshirts play five of their next six games on the road. A loss Tuesday would provide a sour taste with a split of the four straight games played on home ice.

"It was a good two points in a weird game last night," explained Brian Boyle. "Just because we won the last two games, though, doesn't mean we don't have a lot to improve on. We'll put last night behind us and prepare for Philly, though it's too early to look at the standings. We just need to win games."

The Flyers sit in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 23 points, one better than the Rangers, though the Blueshirts do have three games in hand.

"Philly is going to be a lot more physical game than it was against Buffalo, so we need to come out with more speed, more power, and we have to be more aggressive," said Hagelin. "We didn't have enough hits nor enough blocked shots last game. So we have to come out and play Rangers hockey."

Share your thoughts below on Brad Richards and the illegal hit he absorbed from Patrick Kaleta, and let us know if you think there will be a suspension.