Richards (undisclosed) will play in Thursday's game against the Wild, Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post reports. Richards skipped Wednesday's practice due to what was described as a maintenance day, but his presence among the forward ranks (fourth line center) during warmups indicates he'll be good to go Thursday. He's yet to notch a point in nine NHL contests this season, averaging just 12:28 of ice time, so it's best to temper any expectations for the veteran.
Head coach Barry Trotz said Richards (undisclosed) is questionable for Thursday's contest against the Wild, Isabelle Khurshudyan of The Washington Post reports. Richards (undisclosed) was absent from Wednesday's practice with what was described at the time as a maintenance day for the defensive specialist. His presence at the optional morning skate casts some doubt as to his availability, so fantasy owners might want to have a contingency plan in case he can't take the ice tonight. Stanislav Galiev would draw into the lineup should Richards be unable to go.
Richards' trial in Manitoba will not begin until Feb. 25, the Canadian Press reports. Richards was set to be tried on charges of possession of a controlled substance when he tried to enter Canada on June 17. The prosecutors are currently waiting on the results of an investigation requested by Richards' legal counsel which has yet to be concluded. The ongoing legal issues continue to linger, but for now Richards appears to be adjusting to the rigors of the NHL grind and is likely to be a permanent fixture in the Capitals lineup from here on, although his lack of offensive opportunity given him little fantasy value at the moment. He has no points in three games so far in DC.
Richards made his season debut Saturday in Washington's 4-1 loss to Buffalo. He fired one shot and laid five hits in the loss. He won five-of-11 face-offs and didn't embarrass himself out there. We're not ready to speculate on Richards' go-forward role with the Capitals, but suffice to say he should deliver some quality bottom-six minutes for the team. It may take a little time for him to settle into an offensive routine, so let someone else take the bait right now.
Richards took line rushes for Saturday's pre-game skate and is expected to play against the Sabres, Mike Vogel of Monumental Network reports. Richards, signed by the Capitals on Jan. 6, has been improving in recent practices and head coach Barry Trotz appears ready to let him play. While the progress is reassuring, the Capitals have indicated they will be very pragmatic regarding Richards and a conditioning stint with AHL Hershey still looms as a possibility. It is hard to gauge Richards' fantasy value for the rest of the season although it does not appear at this time that he will crack Washington's potent top-six assuming everyone is healthy. Keep an eye on his progress, but it's hard to recommend picking him up in standard formats at this time, at least until his role becomes clearer.
Rank Among Leaders
Last 7 Games
|3 Year Avg||61||9||20||30||-7||4||1||2||331||316||77|