With Game Six’s four point performance, Rick Nash might be heating up at the right time for the Rangers, making up for lost time.
With last night’s 7-3 win, the Rangers are one step away from returning to the Stanley Cup Finals, continuing their march to the ultimate prize. A prize that alluded them last year and has haunted them since 1994.
The team’s recent success has been made possible by the “missing in action” superstar Rick Nash. For much of this season’s playoffs, including the past two postseason appearances, Nash has been non-existent, a ghost, a moving object that has not shown much in the way of offensive production.
However, this postseason, specifically this series against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Nash is becoming the player Rangers’ brass gave up so much to get.
It’s not like he is taking over games. He’s had his “dud” games, in terms of offense.
Through his first 41 playoff games, with his former team Columbus Blue Jackets and New York Rangers, he was a combined 18 points (five goals, 13 assists). But, he has shown that he tries to make up for his disappearing act, in other areas. He has shown a commitment to playing defense creating havoc when checking the opponent, which causes opportunities for his teammates to take advantage of.
Most of it goes unseen, unless you have a trained eye, Pierre McGuire or Eddie Olczyk. I challenge all, who complain about Nash, to watch him without the puck. As an example, watch what Nash does on the fourth goal in last night’s game:
— NHL (@NHL) May 27, 2015
Still, Nash is asserting his offensive presence at the right time. In last night’s 7-3 win,
Nash finished with four points (one goal, three assists). And in Game four of the series, he had his first multi-goal playoff game scoring two in a 5-1 win.
He is four points shy of his career total through 23 less games. Nash has already bested his career best in goals in a single playoff season with five. Through the six games against the Lightning this series, Nash is a point-per-game player, with seven points (three goals, four assists).
Despite this, it’s the multiple playoff games of goose eggs that has surrounded the power forward with criticism from all fronts: fans and media.
He hasn’t always showed up, but if Nash were to keep up this performance for Friday night’s Game Seven, Nash could atone for his past failures.