Derek Stepan

Read: The Derek Stepan line isn’t scoring

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.”

Rick Nash

Read: Rick Nash’s Game Seven and being encouraged

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.

Rick Nash1

Read: The feeling that Rick Nash is “due” (Very Frustrated)

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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Rick Nash

Read: Needing more from Rick Nash and what people are saying about him

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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Read: Rick Nash through three games

Nash

4/25/14 |  12:04PM: Derek Stepan says that Nash is an elite player and you need to look past his stats to see the amount of plays that he makes. (NHL.com)

4/24/14 |  8:35AM: Through three games, Rick Nash has 0 goals and 4 assists.

Nash has attempted 23 shots, tied with Brad Richards for the lead, and has 18 shots on goal, 3 shots that missed the net and 2 shots that were blocked.

He has one primary assist and three secondary assists and is averaging 19:11 per game.

Nash is averaging 4:17 per game on the PP and 48 seconds on the PK.

According to Extra Skater, when Nash is on the ice at 5 on 5 the Rangers control 58.8% of the shot attempts and 60.5% of the shots on goal.

Nash’s shots that have missed the net have come from an average of 18.6 ft out and his shots on goal come from an average of 41.4 ft out.

Nash struggled to produce in the playoffs last year.

Adam Rotter: I’ve liked how Nash has played so far, especially last night in the first period where he was very engaged, went to the net and was involved with both goals. You expect Nash to put the puck in the net but it would be a lot more concerning if he wasn’t getting shots and if his shots weren’t getting on goal. In the end though, he is helping to create goals and help win games and that is why the Rangers got Rick Nash.

Rick Nash

Read: Rick Nash has a chip on his shoulder for the playoffs

In the playoffs last year, Rick Nash played in all 12 games and ranked seventh on the team in points with one goal and four assists.

Nash led the team in shots with 42 and averaged 20:27 per game.

He said after the season ended that he felt he played well in the playoffs but said earlier this season that he knows he can do more in the playoffs.

Nash said that he thinks everyone should have a chip on their shoulder to perform in the playoffs. He says that it’s important to go into the playoffs feeling that way.  (Ranger Rants)

Earlier this week, Alain Vigneault was asked about Nash and said “based on what I have seen this year, he is our best and one of the best in the league as far as scoring game winning goals so he puts himself in the right spots and puts himself in the right areas. He has big game experience. I think last season was his second time in the playoffs and I am confident that he will learn from that and he is a hard worker and dedicated and he will put his best foot forward on Thursday.”

Adam Rotter: Nash is the guy who has the most to prove in the playoffs. There has been less attention paid to him with the play of Mats Zuccarello and all the hoopla surrounding Marty St. Louis, but Nash was brought in to be “the guy” for the Rangers and he needs to establish that he can be a playoff performer. His regular season was up and down with a concussion and some red hot streaks and some ice cold streaks but this whole year has been building for Nash and the playoffs. He has been good on the biggest stages for Canada and while it’s not the same, he knows and the team knows that he can be that player in the playoffs for the Rangers. It starts tonight for him to show it.

 

Rick Nash

Read: Matt Calvert calls what Rick Nash did gutless/Nash explains why they fought

The Blue Jackets Matt Calvert discussed why he fought with Rick Nash last night.

Calvert said, “he took a cheap shot at our goalie and we didn’t have a chance to respond because the linesman jumped in, I know one of the guys on the ice would have responded, and I had a chance at the start of the third to get the boys going and to have him pay for what he did…it was a gutless move and I am glad it happened.” (CBJ)

Nash was asked what set him off and said, “probably the two cross checks to the head, the slew foot and the fact that he said he was going after me no matter what and he doesn’t care. That is enough to set me off….did you see it?”

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