This is now Rick Nash‘s second playoff season as a member of the New York Rangers, and it has not gone any smoother than his first. Last year Nash played in 12 playoff games, only registering one goal and four assists in a disappointing first playoff stint as a member of the Rangers. This year, however, has been much different, even if the stats are looking quite similar. But, no matter what Nash does, he will be judged only by the amount of goals he scores.
Nash has been the Rangers’ best forward this postseason, even if the goals are not there to back that up. He is absolutely killing it in the advanced statistics department, and has provided awesome two way play. He has developed into a great penalty killer, along with with Derek Stepan, and is even beginning to throw is body around more.
If you look at the Corsi and Fenwick ratings Nash posses, they are among the top in the NHL. Per ExtraSkater, Nash is eighth in the NHL among players who have played at least four playoff games with a Corsi percentage of 60.8%. For those of you that don’t know, Corsi takes into account shots on goal, shots that get blocked and shots that miss the net. In layman’s terms, this means that Nash has had the puck on his stick a lot, much more than anyone else on the Rangers roster. Nash’s Fenwick rating, shots that hit the net and shots that miss the net, ranks 15th in the league, at 61.5%.
But no matter how many fancy stats I throw at you, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter that Nash is an absolute menace in terms of possession, or even that he is playing physical and killing penalties. Everyone, myself included, wants to see goals and we want to see them now. Nash’s possession stats could have been dreadful during the regular season, and no one would have batted an eye, as long as he was scoring goals. Now that the playoffs are here, we are all expecting Nash to score goals, and rightfully so. That is what he was brought here to do, score goals.
Nash is playing good hockey, and if you don’t realize that you don’t know much about the game. He is a beast in regards to possession, and he has even upped his game to do a lot of things that role players do. That doesn’t fly in the playoffs though, as Nash was brought to Broadway to be a game changer, a playoff goal scorer. Until he does that, the critics will continue to chirp about his lack of production.