Read: Rick Nash and his spot on Team Canada

12:48PM: Nash said that he wasn’t expecting to make Team Canada but Steve Yzerman called him and said that they trust Nash on the ice and wanted him on the team. (ESPN.com)

Nash said that he wasn’t sure if being named to Team Canada was the reason he started scoring in January, but what he did know was that the puck started going in. (ESPN.com)

Nash’s spot, a defensive role, was debated with Patrice Bergeron and Logan Couture also in the mix and Couture was the one left off the team. (ESPN.com)

Mike Babcock praised Nash for the role he had in 2010 and Jonathon Toews said that Nash always play well in international competition. (ESPN.com)

8:34AM: In early practices in Russia, Rick Nash is skating with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp.

Nash and Sharp were a two-way line in 2010, with Mike Richards, that was usually tasked with shutting down the oppositions best forwards.

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Read: Rick Nash is glad that the outdoor games are over

Following the Rangers win over the Islanders last night, Rick Nash was asked by Sam Rosen if he had a favorite moment from the outdoor games.

Nash responded, “I’m pretty happy that they are over but the four points and the two wins coming here even though it was a great event they are still real points and real games so it was nice to get both the wins.” (SNY’s Nick Licalzi)

On the game conditions, Nash said that the cold had an impact because the players weren’t used to it but that it was the depth perception of not having anyone around the glass and the puck bouncing kept players heads down, “it wasn’t the perfect conditions.” (SNY’s Nick Licalzi)

Nash was then asked if he was happy to be going back to MSG and said, “for sure….I am glad that this is over.” (SNY’s Nick Licalzi)

In the two games, Nash had one goal, six shots and played 14:59 on Sunday and 18:27 on Wednesday.”

Rick Nash

Read: Why Rick Nash Wasn’t Going To The Net For A While

Rick Nash has 11 goals in his last 11 games and Alain Vigneault has said that Nash has started to play more on the “inside” as opposed staying out on the perimeter.

Nash said that he needed to get the feel for his game back after his injury and that he worked with the coaches a lot to make that happens. He said that the main issue wasn’t being hesitant to take another hit, but instead not having all parts of his game, legs, hands, skating, and timing in sync at the right time.  (Ranger Rants)

Nash said on ESPN Radio recently, “the only change is that I am playing on the inside more and I noticed when I first came back I was on the outside more and now I can make things happen.”

From the Rangers game notes, “Rick Nash enters the contest with a five-game goal streak (seven goals), and has 11 goals in the last 11 contests. This is the first time in Nash’s career he has tallied 11 goals in an 11-game span, and he is one game shy of the longest goal streak in his career. He notched the opening goal in two straight games on his current streak – Jan. 19 (1:10 of the 1st) and Jan. 21 (1:02 of the 1st). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last Rangers player to score a goal within the game’s opening 70 seconds in consecutive games was Jan Hlavac in 1999-00. Nash was also credited with the game-winning goal in four straight games in which he scored a goal from Jan. 10 – Jan. 19, becoming the first Blueshirt to do so since Tom Poti in 2003-04.

Watch: What Rick Nash did this weekend

Henrik Lundqvist said, “the goals he can score, not a lot of guys can do that. It brings a lot of confidence to the group to have a guy like that on the team.” (Rangers Report)

From the Rangers game notes, “Rick Nash notched two goals, including a 5-on-3 power play goal, was credited with two takeaways, and posted a plus-two rating in 15:09 of ice time. He registered three goals and a plus-four rating in the Rangers’ back-to-back set, and has seven goals in the last eight contests. Nash now leads the team with 14 goals and is tied for third in the NHL with six game-winning goals this season, including four game-winners in the last six contests.”

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Rick Nash

Read: The one difference in Rick Nash’s game from Monday and what he needs to do

Following a two-goal performance on Monday night, Rick Nash was asked, on MSG,  if he felt that his game was about to turn around.

Nash said “hopefully” and added on Tuesday that he hopes he can start a hot streak but more importantly help the team win.

Marc Staal said on Monday that Nash scoring makes everyone else on the ice more dangerous because he creates so much more room for everyone else.

Ryan Callahan said on MSG that Nash starting to score is “big” and that it he is an impact player for the Rangers.

Joe Micheletti though that Nash’s game against Columbus was “maybe his best game of the season” and that he was able to create space for himself on the ice.

On Monday night and repeated on Tuesday afternoon, Alain Vigneault said that the only difference in how Nash played against Columbus and he previous few games was that he finished.

Larry Brooks told Nash that he felt he hadn’t been aggressive enough and Nash agreed and said that sometimes you feel like you are being effective on the perimeter when you aren’t. Nash said that he knows what he needs to be on the inside and go to the net. (NY Post)

Adam Rotter: It seemed like Nash’s game was starting to come as he started to get multiple chances but couldn’t finish. Maybe whatever was nagging him a few weeks ago, mental or physical, is behind him and he can start adding some goals for the Rangers. He’s back on Team Canada which should be a nice confidence boost but his game needs to get some consistency to it.

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Read: Team Canada Is Weighing On Rick Nash/How He Has Played Lately

Rick Nash12:39PM: Don Cherry, Nick Kypreos and Doug MacLean all think that Nash will be on Team Canada because he is “Rick Nash.” (Sportsnet)

8:35AM: Hockey Canada will announce their roster for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi on Tuesday at 11AM.

Rick Nash said that he would be lying if he said that the Olympics were not something that he was thinking about and that it is something that has weighed on his mind. (Sportsnet)

Chris Johnston says that Nash would need some good fortune to make Team Canada but one thing that could work for him is his past history with Hockey Canada. (Sportsnet)

Johnson thinks that Nash will start scoring more once the decisions have been made and the team has been named.

Bob McKenzie thinks that Nash will be on Team Canada.

Nash was also named to TSN’s projection of who they think will be on Team Canada.


Nash has three goals and four assists in 17 games since December 1st.

He has 48 shots on goal in that time.

Over the last 10 games, 66% of Nash’s shot attempts have been on goal. On the season, 60% of Nash’s attempts have been on net.

Last season, 63% of Nash’s attempts were on goal. According to Extra Skater, Nash’s average shot distance is almost 3 feet further back from the net than it was last season.

Adam Rotter: If he makes Team Canada it will be because he has Olympic experience and also experience on the big ice, both from the 2006 Olympics but also his time with Davos during the lockouts and World Championships.

I think he has been better lately after some games where he struggled, but I think he needs to go to the net more. He missed a chance at the goal line on Saturday after he skated past the net a bit too much, but his goals come from in close. Chris Kreider has started to pull Nash’s move of getting the puck inside the blue line and making a power move toward the net, but Nash needs to find other ways to get on the scoresheet. Not that his PP numbers were high last year, but they are way down this year and that has also hurt his production.

 

Read: Henrik Lundqvist and Rick Nash are in the same boat

Alain Vigneault says that one thing he knows for sure about Henrik Lundqvist and Rick Nash are that they are “committed, trying to do anything they can possibly do to get back on track.” (Daily News)

Nash and Lundqvist are “elite players” and the Rangers need both of them to be their best players every night. (NY Post)

Lundqvist is starting against Tampa Bay tonight.

Nash has two goals and three assists in 12 December games.

Dave Maloney said on MSG today, “Nash has been around long enough, it’s probably a convo reassuring him that he has been a good player and that the team needs him to be better. I think there is an urgency or a little bit more urgency to his game and he needs to head in a straight line with the puck. They need Nash to be better.”

Adam Rotter: They both need to be better. It’s as simple as that. Neither are totally lost in their game, but not at the level they should or need to be at. If both raise their level of play a little they will be in much better shape, Lundqvist will stop the shots he should and Nash will score on the shots that he is being stopped with now.