Center Brad Richards is refreshed following the mid-February Olympic break and is ready to lead the Rangers into the postseason.
"Usually this time of year, you're a little more banged up, so it was good to get a couple weeks [to] get some sun," Richards said at Rangers Assist, a Garden of Dreams and Chase program dedicated to improving the youth hockey experience.
The Rangers entered last night as the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference, but five teams trailed them by four points or less. Richards marveled at how the playoff picture changes "every night."
"That's probably how it's gonna be right until the end," Richards said. "We put ourselves in that situation with the start we had, but we're very confident with how we've played the last six, seven weeks that we can win the majority of the games coming in and set ourselves up nice for a playoff run."
Richards is doing his part by having a solid bounce-back season after struggling in 2013. He leads the team with 44 points (16 goals, 28 assists).
"I got off to a slow start and it kind of snowballed and confidence-wise things went against me," Richards said of last season. "I've had a long career for a reason. The new staff has put a lot of faith in me."