In just his second game back from a concussion that kept him out of the Rangers lineup for 17 games, Rick Nash gave a us glimpse of what we've been missing...
...welcome back Rick Nash. Welcome back. I get the guy had a horrific playoffs last year, but that doesn't take away from the fact that he had 42 points (21g, 21a) in 44 regular season games last season and is still one of the premiere goal scorers in the league.
...i still think he has a lot to prove to Rangers fans as he was brought in to jump start the Rangers offense to take them to the next level (wait, wasn't Richards, Gaborik, Drury and Gomez also supposed to do that? But I digress) and it hasn't happened yet. But if he can continue to make plays like that it'll take pressure off the rest of the team and likely open up ice for others to step up their game.
...btw, who knew the solution to the Rangers goal scoring issues was getting Lundqvist more involved. Sweet pass to get the play started.
Here's Alain Vigneault on Nash (via New York Post)....
“I think he’s only going to get better. He made some elite player moves tonight 1-on-1. I think that line has a lot of potential and is only going to get better.”
the guy is a beast! plenty of stars struggle in the playoffs because defenses tighten up and that was his first real experience in the playoffs.
Is it just me or does the Nash-Richie connection seem to finally be coming along? They've made some pretty nice plays to one another and it's kind of exciting.
Solid game by Nash, he's got such great hands it's like you expect him to score on those breakaways 9/10 time.
Also, thank god for Hank - that was his best performance of the season IMO.. absolutely robbing the Stars countless times. Hope we keeps it up. LGR
I think the fans who Were disappointed with Nash's play during the playoffs last year are not realizing that playoff hockey is tougher and he drew a lot of coverage which should open ice up for line mates, and other lines who don't play against top pairing. Also having a one superstar mentality will get you in trouble in this league.
What I find most encouraging about Nash's play so far is that he looks completely uninhibited. Not afraid at all of cutting though the middle. Scares me, but evidently not him.
Bull shit Nash has nothing to prove. Best sniper rangers have ever had. They need to use his talent & skill. If he can score 30+ goals in Columbus of all places, he will contribute for NY. PlAyers need to have his back & stick up for him like a Brandon Prust would have done in 11-12.
Nashty highlights http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K81U8HOu3vU
Maybe Hank will finally buckle down and practice puck handling more in practice. Honestly, I would have never expected him to be able to make that pass based on his track record.
Really encouraged, too, not just by his Nash's goal, but like you said after the Boston game, his compete level, his willingness to go in to "dangerous" areas of the ice and use his speed. Nothing like Gaborik being hesitant after every shoulder injury. Really makes you feel good that the doctors and training staff took their time with Nash, and definitely made him take his time in coming back.
Oh also, when he sped up to get that breakaway when Cally seemed to think he was getting to the puck first was absolutely insane. I've never seen Nash move so fast in my life.
@Betweentheworlds Well said, indeed. The context in which anything occurs is so important. There is one context in early season hockey which is a looser free flowing lots of ice available kind of game. In the second half of the season the game becomes tighter and more defensive. As you adroitly pointed out "open ice" disappears entirely during the playoffs which is why your special team play better be good and your goal tending better be exceptional.
Context is also important in assessing trades and signings taking note of "Why a team would trade away a player" or why a team would allow it's free agent to go to other teams". See Gartner, Amonte........ask why Dallas did not make an aggressive offer to keep Richards.....ask why The Wild never made a real offer to keep Gaborik?.......why Gomez never got a real offer from NJ?
@rangersfan Good point.
@rangersfan92 I still say that assist to Hagelin at the 1:47 mark is one of the sickest things I've ever seen.
@johnnyb3910 It looks like Hank has been practicing. I have never seen Hank make a pass like that. Even just handling pucks behind the net, I don't shiver so much anymore. He's gotten much better.
Good point about hanks puck handling. It has been the one glaring weakness, as it was for Richter. It's like an NBA center not being able to hit a free throw- just practice it dude, it's your job!
Also I wonder if he's a righty??
@JoshKaye Agreed. A few plays last night, I found myself in aw seeing how fast Nash was moving.
@boogiepicker @johnnyb3910 I think his decision making is getting better. He seems to be picking when to leave his crease correctly and when to just settle the puck at the right times and leave it for a defensemen. But I still get nervous when he's got D support but feels pressure and just fires its up the boards with no intended recipient, just a hail-mary type play to get out of danger.
@SmellyKisio You mean lefty? Isn't he a righty? His glove is on his left hand. The hardest part with being a goalie is your stick is curved the wrong way. He played that pass with the stick the way its designed, with his blocker hand near the knob and his glove in the middle of the shaft, but goalies dont always have the time to move their hands around, so the put their golve over the knob, blocker where it always is, and try to play it unnaturally.
@johnnyb3910 @SmellyKisio yeah that's what i'm saying- maybe if he is naturally a right handed shot, that's what the problem has been- adjusting to the lefty shot goalies usually need to make. i was a goalie for the time i played, and wore my gloves on the usual sides, but luckily am a lefty shooter so it felt natural. can't imagine the other way around- then again i was not NHL level ha
It was a sick move, no doubt. I thought I was watching an old-time goalie for a second. He was just "on" that game. Sometimes you are "on". I wouldn't expect this to become a habit of his.