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John Tortorella to critics of Brad Richards decision: ‘Kiss my a**’

John-TortorellaThere was once a time when New York Rangers center Brad Richards was one of the better offensive players in the league. Just three years ago, he racked up 24 goals and a whopping 67 assists in a single season. On Thursday night, that same Brad Richards was a healthy scratch for Game 4 against the Boston Bruins.

With his team in a 0-3 hole, Rangers coach John Tortorella decided it was best to give the struggling Richards a break. New York ended up winning to extend the series, but Tortorella was defending his decision long before the puck dropped.

“Don’t put words in my mouth,” he told the media before Game 4. “It’s not blaming Brad Richards. I’ve heard enough of that crap already. He’s a hell of a hockey player that’s having a hell of a time. I need to make decisions for what I feel is right for the team to win tonight’s game and that’s why I made that decision.

“This is a guy I’ve grown up with, a guy I love as a person and a player,” Tortorella continued. “But I have to make that decision regarding this. So kiss my ass if you want to write something different. It’s not about blaming that guy and I don’t want anyone to pile on him. This is my decision and I make it for the hockey club.”

Cursing is all part of Tortorella’s image, as we saw when he went at it with an official during Thursday night’s game. Many were wondering why Tortorella would scratch a guy like Richards who is capable of turning it on at any moment, but coaches do unpopular things when they’re coaching to keep their job. If the Rangers lose on Saturday night in Boston, Tortorella may not be keeping his.

New York Rangers 7-0 Since Brad Richards Started Dating Olivia Munn

Being from New England, I know a little something about the girlfriend jinx.  Since Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen got together, the Patriots have not won a Super Bowl.  Before the two paired up, Brady led the Pats to three.  Is it crazy to blame Gisele for New England’s championship “drought” over the past six years?  Not for New Englanders.  Luckily for the Rangers’ Brad Richards, his new girlfriend appears to be doing quite the opposite for New York.

According to Just Jared, Richards has been dating actress/model Olivia Munn for the past couple weeks.  The first game the Rangers played while Richards was supposedly in his new relationship was on October 31st against the Sharks.  New York won that game and has won six more since, making them a perfect 7-0 since Richards and Munn got together.

Good luck charm?  Maybe so.  Richards has three goals and five points during the stretch, so it’s possible his new lady friend has injected some confidence and energy into his game.  Munn may not be able to work the magical powers that Justin Bieber music or talking to your bat can perform, but one thing’s for sure: the Rangers won’t be allowing any type of break-up until at least after the streak ends.

Fist pound to Puck Daddy for passing along the story.