Will The Real Rick Nash Please Stand Up

Remember that perennial 35-40 goal scorer the Rangers acquired from Columbus for some heart and soul guys? Anyone have any idea where he went?

Through 18 games this season, Rick Nash has just six goals, six assists and has scored just once during the first six games of the Rangers current eight-game home stand in which they've posted a 1-3-2 record.

Nash, who has missed 17 games this season with his second concussion in less than a year, has also failed to score on his two shootout attempts this season.

…i'm at a complete loss with Nash right now. The guy had a solid first season on Broadway, scoring 42 points (21g, 21a) assists in 44 regular season games. Then last year's playoffs came and he was an absolute no show scoring just one measly goal in 12 playoff games. Since that time he's been beyond underwhelming. Sure he's has his moments…

…but let me ask you this, when was the last time he dominated a game from start to finish with the Rangers? I'll give you the answer, never. Not once has Nash ever resembled the offensive force that elite players such as Ovechkin are on a nightly basis. He holds on to the puck too long, always seems to have his back to the play and please stop with the blind passes to no one. The move Nash makes in the above video should be happening at least twice a game and we're lucky to see it twice a month. When the money is on the line this guys is no where to be found. To me, he's quickly becoming the ARod of the Rangers.

…now why is this? How has one of the most dominant offensive forces in the NHL been reduced to an average player? I think it's a couple of things. First is the concussions. You have to assume he's playing a bit tentative out there. It's only human nature that he's thinking twice about going hard to the net in an effort to reduce the chance of another head injury. I also can't imagine Nash isn't aware of the concussion history of another hulking Rangers forward who was forced to end his career after suffering multiple head shots in Philadelphia and New York.

…secondly, because of the underachieving performances of players such as Stepan and Brassard as well as the injury to Ryan Callahan, opponents are able to key on Nash, not allowing him the freedom to make plays. Nash's teammates need to start capitalizing on the open ice he's providing, which will hopefully force teams to take some focus off of him. Having said that, if Nash truly is elite, he should be able to rise above any defensive strategy thrown in his direction.

…if he continues with his struggles, I wonder if there's any chance the Rangers might buy him out over Richards?

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