Todd Richards on Bobrovsky: 'If you’re going to go down, you go down with your guy'

Columbus Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards stands behind his bench in the third period of a first-round NHL playoff hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. The Penguins won 4-3. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Columbus Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards believed in goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky.

Though the netminder said his confidence was shot, Richards kept using the 2013 Vezina Trophy winner hoping a turnaround would happen soon. It didn’t, and Wednesday Richards was fired. He was replaced by John Tortorella.

Speaking to Shawn Mitchell of the Columbus Dispatch, Richards showed no regrets in using Bobrovsky, who had a 5.07 goal-against average and .830 save percentage in five games.

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Said Richards to Mitchell via Twitter:

"He’s made me a good coach with his goaltending. He was my guy. If you’re going to go down, you go down with your guy."

Bobrovsky was hardly the only problem for the Blue Jackets, who currently sit 0-7-0. The team was outscored 34-13 in the first seven games, and Richards felt the writing was on the wall.

Again speaking to Mitchell:

"Your job as a coach is to maximize potential, and with the way we were playing, obviously that wasn’t happening."

Restoring Bobrovsky’s shaken confidence is quite a task for Tortorella as he tries to help the Blue Jackets turn around from their dreadful start – the league’s worst since the 1997-98 Chicago Blackhawks began the year 0-7-0.

Tortorella was asked about Bobrovsky on a conference call Wednesday.

“This guy’s a Vezina winner, he’s a good goalie, it’s going to come back to him,” Tortorella said. “We just need to play better around him and hopefully he’ll feel his way back into it and have a couple of good games and will find his way.”

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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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