Just days after winning Olympic gold in Sochi at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, New York Rangers‘ superstar Rick Nash turned his attention back to NHL action as his Rangers took on the Chicago Blackhawks at home on Thursday night.
While Nash now has two gold medals, he still is not satisfied. Nash told reporters that while it is an honor to be a part of two gold medal winning Canadian teams, he will not be satisfied with his career until he can hoist the Stanley Cup as an NHL champion; and it showed in the way he played Thursday night at the Garden.
Nash has been on fire recently, going back before the Olympic break and then during the Olympic break for Team Canada, and now once again for the Rangers. Nash scored the game-winning goal for the Rangers in the late stages of the third period, making that his 19th goal of the season and eighth goal in his last 11 games. While these numbers are not through the roof, it is a vast improvement to the beginning of his season where he scored only seven goals in his first 26 games of the season.
Ever since getting named to Team Canada, Nash has been playing his the best hockey as a Ranger. While many people believe that Olympic play hurts NHL players when they return, the Olympics seem to have had the opposite effect on Nash as he came ready to play and looked better than ever last night against Chicago.
When the Rangers traded for Nash, they thought they were getting an MVP caliber player. While he might not have fulfilled those expectations with his play earlier this season, Nash is starting to come alive and is proving to the Rangers that he is an MVP caliber player.
Nash has come alive at the perfect time as the Rangers are in the middle of a playoff race and trying to cement themselves in a good playoff spot. The Rangers need all of their players to be contributing at this point in the season as the only way they will be able to make a run in the playoffs is if they can get continued, consistent contributions from everyone, especially Nash who is supposed to be a prolific scorer.
If Nash is going to get his Stanley Cup Championship this year, he is going to have to turn it on even more and become the prolific scorer that everyone knows he can be.
What a year that would be for Nash if he won Olympic gold and a Stanley Cup. I wonder which one would be his favorite?