During Rick Nash's prolonged absence from the Rangers line-up due to a concussion, the Blueshirts found themselves void of any legit scoring threat. Well, since his return on November 19th, highlight reel goals like the one last night have become commonplace for the All Star winger...
With that goal, Nash now has five goals in the eight games since being re-inserted into the lineup including four in the last five games.
So what sparked this goal scoring onslaught? Apparently, it was the challenge Alain Vigneault issued to the team's core the other day (via New York Post)...
“When a coach says something like that, there’s a reason,” Nash said. “For sure, I took it personally.
“I’ve been part of my team’s leadership group for just about my whole career and I try and lead by example,” he said. “I think that’s a big part of my role here.”
...i'm loving everything Nash is doing and saying right now. He has been a revelation on the scoring sheet the last two weeks with jaw dropping goal after jaw dropping goal.
...i've also been very impressed with his ability to score from the dirty areas. His bull rush to the goal in Boston as well as the sweet tip in against the Canucks. Despite possible reoccurring concussion concerns, he's been confident going to the net and when you do that good things happen. While ridiculous breakaway moves are great for the highlight film, it's those hard working, physical goals that help teams win championships. I'm hoping he can continue to bring that hard working, lunch pale mentality to his offensive repertoire.
What I like about Nash is that he's deadly.He's one of those players that's around the net and suddenly Bingo! the pucks in the net.
Nash is close to being that elite superstar we all envisioned IMHO - just add a tad more heart and soul and we're there. He's accused of being a "soft player" by a lot of fans, and he is more of a perimeter guy who will crash the net with the puck and in opportune moments but if that works than keep it up. I think if he can just add a bit more grit, and throw his big body around more, not as a "checker" cause that's not his role but again, at opportune moments I think he will be complete. One thing to keep in mind is that concussions are hugely traumatic (I've had 6 myself that I know of) - even for athletes on that level and it does effect their game sometimes when it comes to the rough stuff. Boyler for example (not that he was ever a toughie) has never been the same since he met Mr. Neil. Staal has softened up some and his game has slipped a notch (and it's not the eye I don't think). Remember Eric Lindros? The Freight Train??? Who was that playing for the Rangers with a Lindros Jersey. Not the same Lindros. Concussions change them and it's not their fault. Be patient and understanding NY and appreciate the world class talent of Mr. Nash.and who he is rather than who he is not.....
Agreed, Nash stepping up can help the confidence of this team, as well as beating the weaker opponents, that they should. As far stepping up to AV challenge, i'm sure that Hank was included in that core group and he looked pretty strong in the third period. Granted it was the Sabres put the D fell asleep a couples of time and he made spectacular saves. Also the one deflection which he batted over the net was highlight reel. If we can string a couple of wins together, like 9 of them, on this homestand, i'll feel a lot better about this team.
It's true, Nash pretty much has to carry the puck into the net. If you look at his highlight reels a lot of his goals look kind of like that. Rarely does he shoot and score.
As the team falls into form, you'd expect this of Nash. But where's Cally? Where's Hags? Where's Stepan? It's very frustrating that they don't show up as much as they should except here and there on a limited basis.
Rangers have 15 wins this season. 10 players have gotten GWGs in those wins. There's not a lot of it, but are we seeing some semblance of balanced scoring????
I love his finish and you can't expect highlight reel goals every shift, but in my oppinion Nash and several other key players seem to fade into the background too often. Leading by example means playing hard EVERY shift! We see glimmers of what this team is capable of - let's hope the guys decide to show up every night and play hard from puck drop!!! LGR!!!
@Betweentheworlds i thought lindros was actually pretty good on the rangers for a while there. Size can be used in other ways, see #66. nash has done so throughout his great career. i think he can dominate a game like not many others, and certainly more so than gabby. i love this guy. you're right staal has downgraded to steady. i feel like he used to offer a lot more.
I agree with the assessment that Cally and Hags aren't the same after shoulder surgery ... especially because nobody is. Stepan is still 2nd in points on the team. He has benefited from successful linemates, but when you look at his numbers, you know he's helping them to be successful too. In any case, we sure could see more from a bunch of our guys.
Consistency is the biggest issue with the team for sure. Nash is holding up his end of the bargain, at least in the scoring column, right now. It's up to the second tier guys to do some of the heavy lifting to take this team to the next level.
Thanks for your reply "Smelly". Good points about size used in other ways, like Nash shielding the puck with his body and being hard to move.off the puck and so far I'm not seeing negative effects from the concussions thank goodness. Let's hope he stays healthy. Still would like to see him throw his weight around a bit more. Also I agree that Lindros was pretty good here but not "The Freight Train" and in fact a shadow of his former self who was the single most feared player of his era (maybe one could argue Scott Stevens, the guy who concussed him was the most feared player) plus he could score 40 in a season and get 100 pts. with his Legion of Doom line. He was huge, strong, hit harder than anyone and played with a nasty edge.
Get rid of pyatt poullycrap, hags even( we have the same player in zucc, choose one) brassard and d. moore (again same player, choose one), DZ or J. Moore ( again choose one)... Trade, burry, do something
Bring in Ott (last yr of his deal so def trait bait for buffalo who is horrible) he looked pretty good last night and the 4th line center he will get you 10 goals hopefully), And bring up Mash, JT and Kristo, and Mcllrtath( or keep Flak in there).. How much better does that team look
How much better does that look??
Cant be any worse than what we have now thats for sure
You nailed it bro - a case of the league policing itself. Too bad. Lindros could have been one of the 10 greatest players ever.
@Betweentheworlds totally agree- unfortunately, it was that style that ultimately led to his demise. maybe nash just knows better than to play a certain way and make himself even more of a target. also says all the right things in press, doesn't seem to have any haters. its a long season, and if nasty just isn't in his repertoire, oh well. but as for the whole team? hell yeah, start hitting. thats the only reason i miss duby, and really missing prust. love to get him back for dz