In Rick Nash's first playoff game as a Rangers and just the fifth of his career he fired 16 shots with eight of them making their way on goal, but, unfortunately for the player the Blueshirts signed to provide the offense they were lacking in last year's postseason, none of them found the back of the net. Nash has just one playoff goal in his career.
Here's Nash on his performance (via Puck Daddy)...
“I put pressure on myself every single night, and in the playoffs that ups even more. [I] gotta get the job done. Had a lot of chances tonight. Just couldn’t beat’em. Gotta be better.”
Nash had just one shot on goal in 4:46 of power play ice time which included almost a minute of 5-on-3 action.
...while Nash was noticeable the entire night and 16 shots taken is nothing to sneeze at, he was brought in to help the Rangers win a Stanley Cup by scoring goals in the playoffs and if he's not doing that he's not getting the job done.
...having said that, I liked that Nash was going to the net and looking to shoot. So if he continues with that game plan, I'm more than confident pucks will start going in for him. He's too good for them not to.
...the Capitals showed in Game 1 that they want to be physical with Nash and while he's tough enough to take the punishment, I'd like to see some of the Rangers tougher players (I'm looking at you Asham) going after Ovechkin and Backstrom to let them know if you're going to take liberties with our top guys we're going to give it right back to you. This is where the Rangers really miss Clowe. He could play a role very similar to Washington's Brouwer, who was hitting everything that moved.
Unfortunately, here's a sight we saw way too often last night from Nash...
To watch at NHL.com, click here.
Nashty was good - very good last night but he needs to be better. Trying the same moves over and over again won't cut it in the playoffs, and he's a big intimidating guy. If he wants to score in the playoffs he has to hit and hit hard and often. That is going to buy him goals. It will create openings for those great moves of his
Torts needs to play the 4th line more....its playoff time. Sometimes you need to put your 4th line out there against a team's top couple of lines. Your 4th line players are usually your most willing hitters and bangers....not only are they willing willing to do it...they love to do it.
See how the Blues used their 4th line the other night? Hitchcock put that 4th line out there regardless of the match-up.....and they were laying people out. Physical play rules the day come playoff time.
And let me tell ya...the Caps are not that physical of a team. If we advance, and play a team like the Bruins, Pens..etc....the Rangers are going to have amp up their physical play dramatically to have any kind of chance. Those teams don't just bang along the boards...they look for the open ice hits as well.
The Rangers lack meanness and nastiness. And you have to have both, along with skill to win the Cup. It's that simple. Look at the Rangers roster for their only cup win since 1940.
Mark Messier....Captain...as nasty as they come. Deadly elbow.
Glenn Anderson...ultra competitive..nasty. Very dirty with his stick..also would use elbow
Jay Wells....just downright mean. Would give forwards coming into the zone a work over...stick, forearm...at every opportunity
Esa Tikkanen....pest and agitator.....
That 94 team was mean and nasty....and that's what it takes come playoff time.
Nash is 6'4" 213 lbs. He should be dishing out some punishment as well. Isn't that what power forwards are supposed to do? Ovi hits everything in his path.
I just wish we had a game tonight. I can't get this taste out of my mouth. They can't let this get in their heads. Just forget it and move on. Holtby isn't this good and Hank is nowhere near what he looked like lastnight. The only thing I could say is they NEED to get it on net. I think torts needs to devote more time to shooting in practice. You see what happens when Chimera just tosses it on net.
By the way. Could we just get that guy on our team so he could stop kicking us in the balls every year!? He has 8 playoff goals and 6 are against the Rangers...unbelievable!!!
I wouldn't call anything Nash did last night "firing." He was not the threat he should be....looked SLOW, like his skates were full of concrete.
Unfortunately the rules were quite different in '94. Most of those elbows thrown by Massier and Anderson would land them in the sin bin now and possible suspension. But I agree with you that the Rangers need to grow some b--ls and play with more grit.
@ziggyy77 I guess not. lol
@KevinDeLury Hahah I like the idea, but like you said that is where we need Clowe who can actually be out there against Ovi and try to do just what you said, rough him up