Brad Richardson’s rise continues. Richardson has seen a fairly steep increase in his minutes of late, and now he will replace Wayne Simmonds on the third line, alongside Michal Handzus and Scott Parse.
Richardson has become accustomed to playing in different roles of late. Terry Murray has taken to, at least late in games, giving shifts to Richardson in other situations, even playing him alongside Anze Kopitar at times as a winger. Here’s what Murray said today about moving Richardson to the third line…
MURRAY: “Some shuffling of the lines. I was sitting there this morning, and that’s what we came up with. I think it’s good for Richie to get the opportunity to move to a higher line. He’s been playing very well for us. It gives him an opportunity to become a more important player than what he has been so far this year. We value him. This will get him out, on a consistent basis, in that checking mindset with Zeus. It’s going to be a good role for him, and I expect that he will respond to the challenge. I shouldn’t say challenge, but the opportunity.
“It should be a very smooth transition with him playing left wing, where he was most of the time when he was in (the lineup) last year. Certainly he was there many times this year, moving lines, and he has looked very comfortable moving around. So it should be smooth.”