After going 14 games in the playoffs this year without a goal, Rick Nash has goals in back to back games for the Rangers and scored his first career playoff game winner in game two.
Nash said after the game on MSG that he always seems to be streaky and that frustration was building up. He said that all he wants to do is help the team win games.
Nash said on Tuesday (via the NHL) that he has tried to stay positive but it was frustrating that he wasn’t helping the team add offense when that is what he is supposed to do. Nash said that all he cares about is the team winning but he wants to do what he can to help. He added that when you struggle as he was you feel it at the rink, at home and everywhere.
Alain Vigneault said after the game on Monday, “he’s smiling a bit more lately and to see him finally get rewarded, he is working extremely hard but to see him contribute….he is getting that touch around the net and that is a good sign for us.”
Vigneault said on Tuesday (via the NHL), “well, I think it’s safe to say everybody expected Rick to score. He was brought in for his production. He’s going through what players go through now and then. He stuck with it. His teammates stuck with him. He kept working extremely hard, and it was just a matter of time for him, in our estimation, to come out of it and now it looks good for us.”
Ryan McDonagh said that it looks like Nash is starting to get some confidence offensively but he never changed his game defensively and was making good plays there. (NY Times)
Brad Richards said that the Rangers advancing in the playoffs allowed Nash more time to break out of his slump. (NHL.com)
Aaron Portzline tweeted “Nash scores goals like a snake eats. Always has. Weeks without a nibble, then gorges.”
Dustin Tokarksi said that he thought Nash would hold onto the puck for a little longer and the shot caught him off guard. (NY Post)
At 4:36 of the third period on Saturday, Rick Nash scored his first goal of the playoffs in his 15th playoff game.
When he scored, Pierre McGuire said “get the monkey off his back.”
Nash said on MSG after the game that it was an “exhale” moment once he saw the puck cross the line but added that the most important thing was that the Rangers won.
Brad Richards said that the guys on the team were happy for Nash because of the heat he has taken and it’s hopefully some weight off of his back. Richards added that in the playoffs no one cares who scores as long as you win. (ESPN)
Nash said that his teammates gave him an extra pat on the back after scoring and that they have supported him during his struggles. (NY Post)
Boyle said that Nash has been maximizing his efforts all over the ice and the floodgates could now open up for him. (Newsday)
Rick Nash enters the Eastern Conference finals with 0 goals, 5 assists, 52 shots on goal, 21 hits and 12 blocked shots in 14 games.
Nash last scored on April 10th against Buffalo and before that on March 30th when he had two goals against Edmonton.
Jamie McLennan said Thursday on Leafs Lunch, “If this guy wakes up I don’t think Montreal has an answer for him. He has another life, another chance to redeem himself. The Rangers have had success in spite of Rick Nash doing anything.”
Nash said yesterday (Rangers):
- On his game, “it’s trying every night to put the puck in the back of the net but it’s a bigger than my struggles, its’ about a team trying to win a championship and if I can help defensively right now I will do everything that I can to help win games.
- “I’m trying out there to make plays and hold onto pucks and as I am not scoring, I need to keep doing that. Sometimes they go in and sometimes they don’t.”
- “The team success is the main thing, the team picture is so much bigger than my struggle, if me scoring can help it’s great, it’s been frustrating and I have been through all the stages.”
- Are you do, “overdue…definitely would say overdue.”
Alain Vigneault said yesterday that the Rangers need Nash to produce but he is playing well in other areas of the ice as well as leading them in scoring chances in the playoffs.
Chris Kreider said that Nash is the most skilled player he has ever played with and works so hard on the ice. He thinks that people should appreciate Nash’s work ethic more, ‘he’s a tireless worker, and that he has worked to get every skill he has. (NY Post)
Rick Nash enters game seven tonight with ZERO goals in the playoffs and only one point, a secondary assist on am empty net goal in game five, in the series against the Penguins.
He ranks second in the NHL in shot attempts with 81, James Neal of the Penguins has 82, but Nash leads the league with 51 shots on goal. (ES)
- Nash has 17 hits in the playoffs after only picking up 11 in the regular season.
Nash says that he is still putting pressure on himself to produce and to help the team win. (NY Post)
He said that normally when he struggles this much it’s a goal that bounces off a leg or something and goes in that lifts the slump. Nash said before game six that he feels he is getting at least two “A” chances per game but scoring just hasn’t be easy for him. He called his not being able to score the elephant in the room. (NHL.com)
Larry Brooks writes that Nash hasn’t scored but is throwing his body around and played “dogged and determined” hockey in the defensive zone and as a penalty killer. Brooks says that Nash was brought into score but is doing everything on the ice but that. (NY Post)
5/8/14 | 7:05AM: Brad Richards said after the game, “it’s tough..it’s a tough thing, Rick is a human being who is out there trying his best and putting pressure on himself but we have all been through different situations and we are 100% behind him. This is a tough league and you can’t just go out there and score goals because someone says that you have to, because the fans say that you have to, the media say you have to, it’s a lot different than that. What a better time to get on the road and not just for him but for all of us to forget about these two games.” (Rangers Report)
He added, “does it upset me, yea it upsets me. It upsets everyone in the locker room…we are not 15th in the league, we didn’t finish in April losing 8-1, we are in the second round of the playoffs but that is my opinion and I understand sports and where it’s all at, so does he and everyone in here but it’s not one person, it’s the whole team, as a team we didn’t play tonight and for one guy or two guys to get booed, it’s frustrating because we all put our foot in our mouth tonight.” (Rangers Report)
5/7/14 | 10:59PM: On MSG, Al Trautwig said “you could hear the booing for Nash and St. Louis and I totally get it but if you think about the human condition, there is no way on earth that booing is going to get you what you want which is for the player to be better. That is just not how things work. It just so happens that Nash was around the puck a lot tonight and bad things happened.”
10:54PM: On MSG, Alain Vigneault said:
- On Rick Nash being booed, “Ultimately the fans can do what they want. I would prefer if our fans right now were supportive. It might not look it but we are trying our guts off here. We are trying to put our best game on the ice, we are trying our best and I would prefer that we have support but ultimately at the end of the day the fans can do what they want.”
- Is Nash becoming a scapegoat, “Rick is trying real hard, he had some real good looks. He feels a lot of pressure right now and I gotta tell you, he is battling real hard. Maybe we can rally around that and have a good game in Pittsburgh.”
10:49PM: “Brad Richards said he feels upset and entire room feels upset to hear Nash booed like that” (Katie Strang)
10:22PM: Early in the third period, while skating up the ice with the puck many at MSG started to “boo” Rick Nash.
Nash was booed at varying levels every time he touched the puck in the third period.
On MSG, Nash was asked about it and said, “it’s tough but you understand where they are coming from. I made a tough play and it cost us a goal against and you need to take ownership of those plays and understand why that happens.”
Nash had four shots on goal, 2 shots that missed the net, four hits and two giveaways.
Ron Duguay said on MSG that he thought Nash looked nervous on the ice.
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Before the game on Tuesday, Alain Vigneault said that the Penguins “big boys” put on their big boy pants in game two and he needed to see his “big boys” put on their “big boy pants” in game three.
Rick Nash, one of the “big boys” continued his scoreless streak in the playoffs of 13 games, 11 games dating back to the regular season, and had 4 shots on goal last night.
Nash leads the league with 41 shots on goal and 67 shot attempts
Pierre McGuire said on TSN 1050 on Tuesday morning, “he will tell you the same thing, he is frustrated and can’t figure it out, he is trying and has more shots on goal than anyone in the playoffs. It’s not like he isn’t trying, he has had some bad luck, some posts, they tried him on a different line with Brad Richards rather than Derek Stepan. Chris Kreider is not in the lineup and when Kreider was playing with Nash, they had some good chemistry. He is trying his butt off, what can you say, it’s just not going in and I feel terrible for the guy. I interviewed him before the game and he is really sincere and wants to make a difference but right now he is not.”
Doug MacLean, who drafted Nash in Columbus, said on Hockey Central at Noon that “Rick has to find a way to score.”
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Derek Stepan said on Saturday that right now it seems like his line with Marty St. Louis and Rick Nash can’t buy a goal but said that he feels encouraged by the looks they have been getting recently. (NY Post)
Nash has not scored in the playoffs but has 11 shots on goal in the last three games. After putting up four assists in the first three games, Nash is scoreless in the last five games.
St. Louis had goals in games two and three but only has one assist in the last five games. St. Louis has seven shots on goal in the last three games.
Stepan had goals in game one and three but only has one assist in the last five games. Stepan has 11 shots on goal in the last three games.
Nash said on Sunday that being close at this time of the year doesn’t matter and his line needs to start finishing their opportunities. (Katie Strang)
Alain Vigneault said on Sunday morning, “that line is extremely hard working, they prepare well and usually are matched up against the other teams top line and d pair and it’s a challenge. They are trying to play to their strengths, they have a big power forward, they have a smart player and a smart center and they are getting some good looks, some real good looks and they just need to continue what they are doing.”
In game seven against the Flyers, Rick Nash played 17:44 and had five shots on goal, 3 shots that were blocked, two that missed the net and 5 hits.
Nash said on MSG that a goal would have been nice but a win for the team is much better. He adds that he continues to try and get his game going.
Alain Vigneault said on Wednesday night, “I know a lot of times there is a lot of emphasis put on the scoresheet but he made so many big plays tonight, so many big defensive plays and those are just as important as a goal.”
Vigneault said earlier today, “anybody who watched our game seven knows the compete level that he brought to the table and the level that he contributed. He is a key component to us moving on and that is what I expect tonight.”
Larry Brooks wrote that Nash was involved on “essentially” every even strength shift and while he couldn’t score, he was “all in.” (NY Post)
Dave Maloney said on MSG, “at the end of the day he will be judged on his offensive production but like that game in Columbus he played with anger. Hands down it was Nash’s best game of the series even though he won’t get on the scoresheet.”
Adam Rotter: It’s another chance for Rick Nash to make an impact and prove what kind of player he is and can be. The Rangers need the player that was there in game seven, the player that was there in Columbus and a player who is engaged both offensively and physically. The Rangers need Rick Nash and he has another chance to show he can be the difference maker he thinks he can be and that the Rangers thought they were acquiring.
4:52PM: Alain Vigneault said today that Nash is trying his best and has to focus on tonight and not worry about what has happened or not happened in the past six games. (NY Times)
4:45PM: James Duthie said on The Brian Hayes show today, “he does stuff but he doesn’t do anything. You watch him and he isn’t playing awful, he does the odd thing but it never ends up in the back of the net. He was such a controversial pick for Team Canada and Babcock loves him as a checker and he was a great checker in that tournament bu to pay that guy that money to be a third line checker. It’s not a year now, you can’t say it’s a bad year, it’s ridiculous, he isn’t a playoff performer. We keep saying that he is going to show up one of these days but maybe he isn’t, maybe he isn’t a playoff performer. That has been a massive disappointment for the Rangers, remember how we talked about that for four months after it was clear he was going to be traded…they got a good package for him but again, good player, every coach would like to have him but score…score a big goal to win a game.”
Duthie adds, “there is still time, it’s not like he is an old guy but at some point you need to produce.
1:16PM: Ray Ferraro said on Leafs Lunch today, “this is my pet peeve when I watch players. I was an undersized guys, I see someone who is 6-4 and 230 and he rushes it over the side wall and takes his shot from there? If he cuts to the net and he is almost unstoppable.”
Ray adds, “there is no anger to his game and you don’t need to be slashing guys but you need some passion or anger and he doesn’t display it. They brought him in for the playoffs. Dom Moore has two in this playoffs. They pay him $7 million. I don’t see how you can see that and think that what you are doing is right. He isn’t even close.”
11:34AM: Nash tells Larry Brooks that he is trying his best and trying his best to help the team win but the puck isn’t going in, “so of course it’s frustrating…it’s very frustrating. (NY Post)
Last night, Nash had 2 shots on goal, 2 shots that were blocked and one that missed the net. He played 16:38 including 4:40 on the PP and 22 seconds on the PK.
Brooks says that if you look around the league, the top players for teams are stepping up and Nash needs to do that for the Rangers. (NY Post)
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Larry Brooks writes that, so far, Rick Nash has not delivered on why he was brought to the Rangers, which was to score big goals in the playoffs. (NY Post)
Brooks says that Nash was brought in as the “missing ingredient” for a team that struggled to score in the 2012 playoffs but since coming to the Rangers he only has one goal in 16 playoff games. (NY Post)
Nash was his most effective in game three in the final minutes when, Brooks says, Nash was able to weave in and out of traffic as well as hold onto pucks. (NY Post) Nash fired a backhand shot that Joe Micheletti said during the broadcast was just inches past the far post.
Katie Strang (ESPN NY) writes that Nash’s “seminal” moment as a Ranger came in March against Columbus when he was engaged and had a “fiery performance.”
Ron Duguay said on Hockey Night Live that he isn’t sure Rick Nash has played enough in the playoffs to really understand what level he needs to play at.
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