Since his mini-streak in which he scored three goals in five games against the Canadiens second and third string goaltenders, Rick Nash hasn’t sniffed a point.
That’s right, the Rangers $7.8 million dollar man has ZERO points in the last five games, which include an Eastern Conference Finals clinching Game 6 and four Stanley Cup Final games. Talk about coming up small when being counted on the most.
Yes, his fancy stats remain solid and he continues to get pucks to the net (postseason leading 81 SOG), but this is the time for players of Nash’s ilk to shine. Instead, he’s become a reliable penalty killer. Unfortunately, it’s not just the pressure of the moment that seems to be too much, but also the strain he’s put on himself (via Daily News)…
“I have expectations, too. For sure I expect myself to score. This is a frustrating stretch, and I put a lot of pressure on myself to perform, and it’s definitely frustrating.”
Despite the scoring troubles, Nash’s teammates remain confident in the super star winger. In fact, his new winger Carl Hagelin feels he’s ready to break out tonight (via Puck Daddy)…
“I like playing with Rick. It was my first time since last year. I’m not going to say that I’d give him an empty netter, but if I could, that’d be great. He does so many good things for our team. He’s working hard, strong on the puck, making great defensive plays and I think he’ll score [tonight].”
You like playing with him? You sure, Carl? The newly configured “first line” of Hagelin-Stepan-Nash combined for one assist and a Corsi of 31.2% (percentage of shot attempts for vs. against while on the ice) in Game 4.
While I’m praying Hagelin has some sort of clairvoyant power, excuse me if I’m not exactly holding my breath for a Nash goal tonight as the guy seemingly has plexiglass covering the net every time he shoots…
I mean, seriously?…
Rick Nash hasn’t scored a goal against a starting NHL goalie in 29 games. His last five goals are vs. Budaj, Tokarski and Matt Hackett.
— Dave Lozo (@DaveLozo) June 10, 2014
I had to verify that stat because it didn’t seem possible. It’s actually 30 games now.
It’s sad how I’ve had to lower my expectations for Nash as I’m more than happy with nothing more than a workman-like effort from him these days. I’d love to sit here and tell you the law of averages are on his side to fulfill Hagelin’s prophecy, but I just don’t see it.
And for those of you still holding out hope that Glen Sather will use the team’s final compliance buyout on Nash instead of the Rangers other train wreck of a contract, think again…
Dreger “Brad Richards I do believe will be bought out by the New York Rangers”
— Hope_Smoke (@Hope_Smoke) June 12, 2014
Despite Nash’s struggles to produce, you don’t buyout a potential 30-35 goal guy in his prime for an over-the-hill all star with a $6.67M cap hit for the next six years. You just don’t.
“Puck luck” has been the theme of the Stanley Cup Final up until this point, but for Nash his entire postseason performance can appropriately described in one word…disappointing.