On Tuesday night against the Bruins, Rick Nash provided the “assist of the year,” according to James Duthie of TSN, when he set up Carl Hagelin to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead.
According to Pierre LeBrun of ESPN, his colleague at TSN, Darren Pang let out a “holy jumpin!” when he saw the move Nash made.
LeBrun said that the move was “simply out of this world.”
In describing this move, Rick Nash told the Daily News that he felt he had a step on Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference and when he realized he didn’t he cut back, slipped the pick through Ferences legs. Nash was then tripped up and said that he knew he didn’t have a chance for a clean shot, but spotted Hagelin out of the corner of his eye and made the pass to him as he was almost flat on the ice.
See the video of the goal HERE and two versions of it animated HERE.
In the shootout, Bruins announcer Andy Brickley said that Nash reminded him of Mario Lemieux.
A former teammate of Lemiuex’s agrees with the comparison.
Ron Duguay, who played with Lemiuex for parts of two seasons in the mid-80s said of Nash, “he reminds me of Mario. I played with Mario. I was amazed how a guy like that can be so calm with the puck. Nash is a skill player. He thinks about how he is going to beat you. He does all of these things in practice so that when it comes to game time, it’s show time.”
In the NY Post, Larry Brooks writes that while Rick Nash may be off a to a disappointing statistical start to his season, the effort he brings to the Rangers every night makes him worth every penny of his cap hit of $7.8 million.
Brooks writes, “if it is clear we’ve yet to see the full kaleidoscope of Nash’s imposing game, it is equally clear that lack of production hasn’t been for a lack of trying. The winger has been involved, he has been on the puck, he has been recording shots at a rate historically consistent with his first nine years in the NHL and he has been defensively responsible.”
John Tortorella said before the game on Sunday that Nash was the leader in offensive chances and opportunities for the Rangers even though he only had two goals coming into the game.
Nash scored his third goal of the season last night, and added an assist on the Rangers first goal, for his first points in two games.
At Rangers Report, Carp writes “speaking of Nash … How about the power move and shot on Hagelin’s first goal? How about the shot on his own goal? How about some of the plays he made in the defensive zone, and some of the plays he made in the neutral zone? Complete player playing a complete game. The goals will come. They will.”
Nash also told Brooks that he enjoys playing in a system that preaches defensive responsibility and that it is “right up my alley.”
Nash has three goals on 44 shots which gives him a shooting percentage of 6.8% on the season. He is averaging 21 minutes per night.
During the abbreivated training camp, Craig Custance of ESPN.com wrote about the impact that Rick Nash was likely to have with the Rangers.
Nash has two goals and five assists in 10 games for the Rangers but is scoreless in three of his last four and only had one shot on goal against the Islanders.
Custance spoke with Nash’s former Columbus teammate, Andrew Cassels, about how Nash is best utilized.
Cassels told Custance that Nash is at his best when he can pick up speed and get the puck around the opposing blue line to take it to the net, If you can get him the puck by going to the net hard, there are going to be rebounds. He creates so much offense just by driving to the net.”
Cassels was Nash’s center when he scored 41 goals in Columbus.
Ken Hitchcock, his former coach in Columbus, says that Nash is at his best when he is in a situation where the only thing he has to worry about is playing hockey. Hitchcock says that Nash was at his best in the Olympics and in Columbus when he was surrounded by players who had leadership roles and handled more of the “debris” around the team.
Rick Nash scored his second goal of the season last night, the game winner, in the Rangers win over Tampa Bay.
In the NY Post, Brett Cyrgalis writes of the play “Last night in the Tampa Bay Times Forum, Nash took on the Lightning’s best defenseman, Victor Hedman, and made a power move around him that was world-class in its grace and momentum-setting in its assertiveness.”
Following the game, on Hockey Night Live, John Tortorella said, “I’ve seen him, when hes played for Columbus do that. He is a big time player. He has been in our offense the whole time he has been here. It’s nice for him to score a goal. You could sense he was getting frustrated. It’s a big time goal at a very important time for us.”
Ron Duguay said on Hockey Night Live that Nash has “Mario Lemieux” type of hands.