Following the game, on MSG, Rick Nash was asked by John Giannone about why this line worked so well. Nash said, “It’s tough to put your finger on one thing, it just seemed like there was a lot of open room. I think Kreids backs people off with his speed, Step is so good at both ends of the rink that it allows both wingers to cheat more offensively.”
Rick Nash said that last year, following the lockout, he and Richards tried to force success and it didn’t work. Now, Nash says that things have started to come much more naturally to him and Richards and things are just happening on the ice.
Richards said that there is a much different feel this time around when he plays with Nash.
In speaking with the NY Post, Richards took a lot of the blame for their struggles last year, saying that he himself was struggling and that he tried to force the puck to Nash which is “completely counter productive.”
The trio has combined for 60 shot attempts in the three games and 31 on goal.
In the three games they played together, the Rangers had the following percentage of shot attempts when they were on the ice at even strength:
- Nashville: 75% of the time
- Dallas: 43%
- Boston: 57%
Callahan told the Daily News that the line is “close” and that it’s only a matter of time before things start to “open up” for the Rangers.
In the NY Post, Nash and Richards spoke about how much better they feel when playing together this season than when they did last season.
Adam Rotter: There would be concern if the trio wasn’t getting chances when they were on the ice, but they are and they have looked good since being put together. As Nash continues to get better and Callahan, who only has two goals since returning from his broken thumb, finds his stride, the line will start to score. Richards, who is pointless in four games and only has one goal this month, is shooting the puck and creating chances but needs to convert. One of these games coming up will see the line breakout and hopefully get them going on a consistent basis .
In the NY Post, Larry Brooks writes that it’s incumbent upon the Rangers to have their players protect Rick Nash and retaliate properly if he is hit.
Brooks says that the players need to play with the mindset that a “blow delivered against Nash is tantamount to a strike against the Rangers franchise itself.”
He adds that the Rangers must adopt the mentality that Marty McSorely played with when he was with Wayne Gretzky, that any player on the ice with Gretzky has to be willing to take a game misconduct at any time.
Brian Boyle told John Giannone before the game yesterday that all of the Rangers need to protect each other.
Nash played 15:34 last night with 2 shots on goal, 1 that missed the net and 6 that were blocked. Nash was also stopped on a penalty shot.
12:10PM: Doug MacLean said on Hockey Central at Noon, about Nash on Team Canada, “No question whether he would be on the team from a making it point of view. Rick Nash is on the team. I am obviously biased…”
Rick Nash spoke with MSG today following the Rangers practice:
- On how he feels the day after, “I feel pretty good. I was just wondering how tired I would be this morning and I’m a little tired but with each practice you get more and more in shape.”
- How encouraged were you after yesterday, “It was nice to get that one out of the way, almost six weeks to the day that I played the last game. So it was good and good to get the first period out of the way. I felt a little shaky there then back to normal after that.”
- On his chance, “That is the important thing, getting the chances. The chances were definitely there yesterday but I just gotta dig deep and work a little harder with finishing.”
2:51PM: Henrik Lundqvist said today “He’s one of our best players. We will need him out there to make big plays and score big goals. He is such a great player and it’s such a good thing to have him here and most importantly he is healthy so it’s good to see.”
10:37AM: Last night against the Bruins, Rick Nash played 17:55, 2:27 on the PP and 15:28 at even strength, had 5 shots on goal, 3 shots blocked and 3 shots that missed the net.
Nash also had one hit and one giveaway while skating with Brad Richards and Ryan Callahan. Nash tied with Brad Richards for the team lead with 5 shots on goal and 11 shot attempts.
According to Extra Skater, when Nash was on the ice at 5 on 5, the Rangers had 54% of the shot attempts and 56% of the shots on goal.
Extra Skater also notes that Nash started 50% of his shifts in the offensive zone, 28.6% in the neutral zone and 21.4% in the defensive zone.
Nash said after the game, via SNY’s Nick Licalzi, “I felt okay. A bit slow on making plays, I had a couple of chances where I could have passed it but I had my head down. I think that with time that and the speed will come.”
He added, “I definitely felt better as the game went on. The first period, the first couple of shifts were a little tough but I found it and felt I created some chances and offense….you would think that after missing six weeks that when the game is playing that fast…I think I had Richie backdoor, Cally coming in and Staalsie one time. It’s just the little things that will take a couple of games.”
Alain Vigneault said after the game that he felt Nash had a few “Grade A” scoring chances.
Adam Rotter: I thought it was a really good first game back for Nash. It wasn’t perfect by any means, but besides some rust he didn’t seem to show and ill effects from the concussion. He shot the puck well with the bulk of his shots on goal coming from in close. It’s a good first step for him and the team and if he plays like he did last night, and continues to shake off the rust, he will score his goals.
Nash is skating with Brad Richards and Ryan Callahan.
Rick Nash returns to the Rangers lineup tonight and spoke this morning, via the team, after the morning skate:
- ”it’s been a long six weeks so I am excited to get in there.”
- Will it take a hit to make him fully confident, “I think the first everything will take a while, whether it’s a hit, a shot or a pass. It’s a long time off so it will take some time.”
- On what he expects to do tonight, “I think it will be guided as we go along. I’m sure AV has had a lot of time when players have come back from injuries. I leave that up to him…he knows what he is doing.”