Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Excitement of Rick Nash

It's been a struggle for the NY Rangers this season. It was clear at the outset of this season that losing Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov and Brandon Prust, plus the lack of true training camp created a slow start for a team that was two wins away from the Stanley Cup Final. It will be a struggle for making the playoffs it seems, much less win a Stanley Cup. Fortunately, it appears the Rangers end of the huge trade that brought in Rick Nash is looking good.

With Rick Nash, the Rangers have a player who is capable of not only scoring whenever he touches the puck, but also capable of doing things with the puck that no one else is capable of doing on a regular basis. A buzz is created when he touches the puck, which even with Marian Gaborik, you don't see as much. Nash creates his own offense, and for the most part, makes those he plays with better (just look at Carl Hagelin and Derek Stepan's stats since Nash played on a same line with them). His talent is so good, Ryan Callahan has become a more dangerous goal scorer because of it.

One more thing you can say about Nash is that he's come to play every night. I don't remember a game which Nash played where you forgot he played. And it's not a coincidence that Nash misses four games and the Rangers lose all four (related, Brad Richards missed last night's game and the Rangers don't miss a beat). Rangers have been 7-0-1 in the last eight games with Nash in the lineup.

The Rangers have had guys like Nash who are wizards with the puck and scary towards the opposing goaltender, but they are few and far between. He still needs to prove himself in the stretch run of the season, much less the playoffs which he never won a game yet. Let's worry about that when that happens, for now, enjoy Nash's brilliance.

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