PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 06: Brad Richards #19 of the New York Rangers scores a first period goal past Brooks Orpik #44 and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury #29 of the Pittsburgh Penguins during the NHL game at Consol Energy Center on January 6, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Brad Richards hit a snag midway through this season in which he was playing well but couldn't find the back of the net.
The past four games, however, that hasn't been the case. Richards has three goals and two assists in those games, and two of those three goals have been game-winning goals -- increasing his season total to six.
Richards was expected to pair up with Marian Gaborik when he agreed to sign with the New York Rangers. After about four games, John Tortorella didn't like what he saw, and the two haven't been consistently paired since.
What that decision has done has allowed Tortorella to have two significantly dangerous offensive lines that are dangerous in different ways. But through it all Richards has remained consistent, and his balanced offensive output (15 goals and 16 assists) has helped the Rangers get goals from all over the ice.
When Richards is playing well, so are the Rangers. But when Richards isn't, he's not the only offensive player expected to put up points.
Sometimes balance is everything in hockey. Right now, the Rangers have balance.