Back on January 7th, Rick Nash, amidst a two goals in 11 games slump, admitted that he was spending too much time on the outside and needed to get inside to score goals.
Luckily for the Rangers and their fans, he took his own advice as he became much more aggressive driving to the net and getting to the dirty areas to make plays. Which not surprisingly led to a goal scoring binge including nine tallies in the next ten games.
Unfortunately, it looks like Nash has reverted back to his perimeter play the last five games as he's spent more time roaming near the sideboards than causing havoc in the crease.
And the result of this regression has been a pointless streak of five straight contests.
Similar to Derick Brassard's reluctance to the shoot the puck more often, Nash needs a reminder of how much more effective he is when he's using his size and strength to make plays with the puck instead of floating around the outside flicking harmless shots at the net.
Nash's inability to create his own offense is allowing defenses to play more straight up, which is making it difficult for his linemates, who have begun to struggle alongside of him, to find open ice.
And while Nash was acquired to score goals not set them up, his one assist in the last 22 games shows how little creativity he's displaying in the offensive end this season.
Making matters worse, Nash's frustration with his lack of scoring seemed to get the best of him last night as he took two ill-advised penalties, one of which led to a Penguins goal.
I've heard fans grumbling about Nash coasting the last few games in an effort to remain healthy for the Olympics, but I don't buy it. I think sometimes he can be aloof out on the ice (maybe from playing all those meaningless games in Columbus) and needs a prompting of how hard he needs to work to be successful in this league.
Let's hope he gets it in Sochi.