Dear Mr. Nash,
A week and a half ago, when your team seemed destined for the golf course, the MSG Faithful’s frustration with you finally boiled over. You were serenaded which a chorus of boos usually reserved for the likes of Wade Redden, Scotty Gomez and Michal Rozsival. In case you don’t remember, it sounded like this…
After the game, you acknowledged that you deserved the ire of the the hometown fans because your ill-advised giveaway in Game 4 cannot be tolerated in the playoffs. Especially from someone not producing…
Rick, I’ll let you in on a little secret, that gaffe was just the tip of the iceberg as to why you were being mocked that night. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but we’ve been talking behind your back for some time now. We’ve questioned your ability to perform in the big spot on message boards. We’ve mocked your unwillingness to drive to the net on blogs. And we’ve begged for a redo on the trade that brought you to New York while watching the game at local pubs. We’re a jaded bunch. One Stanley Cup in 74 years will do that to a fan base.
Maybe a little of the blame should fall at our feet. Our expectations might have been a little unrealistic. Rangers fans obviously watched one too many YouTube highlights of your time in Columbus and not enough actual game film…
What we would have learned is that when a Super Star is surrounded by AHLers, the head coach will usually give that player free reign. And while that kind of thinking helps pad stats when playing against disinterested opponents every night, it does nothing to develop hockey IQ or how to succeed within a team concept.
We also should have anticipated that the losing atmosphere you were saddled with in Columbus would have kept you from learning what it takes to become a winner.
But I’m not here to criticize you. I’ll just do that on the podcast I’m scheduled to appear on later this morning. Instead, I wanted to let you know you’ve been given yet another opportunity by your teammates to make things right with us.
A clean slate as your head coach likes to call it. And it’s officially time for you to grab it.
Despite the boos and vitriol spewed your way, we really do want you to succeed. Most of the negative energy directed towards you isn’t because you’ve only scored one goal in 26 playoff games in a Blueshirt (although it doesn’t help), it’s because we witnessed what you’re capable of that magical night in Columbus two months ago and we want more.
We want that emotion, that passion and that heart on every shift and you’re not giving it to us. If you have any interest in winning Rangers fans back while rediscovering your scoring touch that’s how you need to play against the Canadiens.
And trust me, once you do, not only will the puck start finding the back of the net, but you’ll once and for all shut us the hell up.
I for one can’t wait.