Rick Nash was brought to the New York Rangers because he’s a rare talent in the NHL. Nash has an abundance of skill and can help his team in many ways, but any Rangers fan will tell you that they expect one thing from Nash — goals.
Most would say Nash had a bad first-round playoff series based solely on the fact that he didn’t score once in seven games against the Philadelphia Flyers. A bad playoff series is far from the truth if you’re talking a about Nash’s individual performance.
Nash couldn’t solve Philadelphia’s goaltending all series, but he consistently got quality chances and led the Rangers with 30 shots on goal in the seven games. As a known scorer, Nash had to focus on contributing in other ways considering the puck wasn’t going in for him.
Nash did just that, playing solid defense and also getting physical with the Flyers. In Game 7 Nash was a positive impact on both ends of the ice. He led the Rangers in shots and also tied for the team-lead in hits. Nash rarely leads his team in hits on a given night, but the power forward was everywhere during Game 7.
Despite Nash’s scoring drought, his ability to score goals still affects the opposition. Even when Nash is cold, the other team must plan to control him and not give him too much space on the ice. Nash’s presence on the ice always counts for something, because the opposition’s defense has pay extra attention to him.
Nash has to be relieved that New York edged out the Flyers in a very close first-round series, but he can’t try to do too much in the next round. If he continues to play like he did in round one and get to the scoring areas of the ice, he will break through at some point against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Rangers’ first-round victory reveals the versatility of Nash and shows that he can do much more for his team than just score.