CBS Local – Rick Nash is an easy target. That will happen when you’ve scored only five goals in 45 playoff games with the New York Rangers.
Just like last postseason, everyone is getting on No. 61’s back. With the Rangers shut out 1-0 in Game 3and behind Washington 2-1 in the series, the “Nasher Bashers” are out in full force.
But he’s passing the eye test. The effort is certainly there. Nash is playing an energetic two-way game. He’s active, engaged, winning pucks, excelling on the penalty kill – both defensively and in quickly transitioning to offense. Nash is using his body to get into prime scoring areas, working screens in front to block the vision of Capitals goalie Braden Holtby. He’s pretty much doing everything for the cause.
Rick Nash is paid to score goals. Period. If he’s not doing that in the playoffs then he’s not doing his job. When we talk about Rick Nash we should talk about him scoring goals and being a force that’s hard to stop, not about how he’s been all over the ice. You know who else has been all over the ice? Carl Hagelin has. But that’s Hagelin’s job and that’s why he doesn’t make as much money as Nash. If Nash gets paid $7.9 million to be “all over the ice” maybe we should give Hagelin a similar amount of money too and watch how we stop making the playoffs.
This is two years in a row now that all we’ve heard about is Nash’s “compete” level. You know who’s compete level I haven’t heard about? Patrick Kane. Does that mean he’s not trying hard or competing? No, it’s because Kane is busy scoring goals in Chicago because that’s what he’s paid to do.
When it comes to every other team the question is, how will you stop Crosby? How will you stop Ovechkin? How will you stop Kane and Toews? That’s never a question with the Rangers. It’s always how can the Rangers get Nash going? Then they answer it by saying, they don’t need to because Nash is playing so well on both ends of the ice and the goals will come eventually.
Eventually isn’t good enough. This is what Nash wanted when he signed a massive contract in Columbus and then begged for a trade to New York. He wants to be the star he now needs to earn it, and so far in three years he hasn’t done that.
Yes, he had 42 goals in the regular season, and that was a huge reason why the Rangers were one of the highest scoring teams in the league this year. Now that he’s disappeared in the playoffs the Rangers are struggling to score more then two goals in a game. That’s unacceptable from your “star.”
Don’t you dare try to tell me “yea but Nash led the team in shots on goal in Game 3. Did you watch the game? He was lofting soft wristers from in between the top of the circle and the blue line that were so soft Braden Holtby actually looked offended that he had to swat them away. Those aren’t exactly scoring chances that he’s creating.