Rick Nash needs to step up

March 15, 2014, by

Has anyone seen this man?

At some stage, Rick Nash needs to be a consistent game changing force because that’s what he is being paid to be. At some stage, people will begin to question his ability to be motivated game in, game out. At some stage if things continue the way they are, the media criticism – so far, relatively tame on Nash – will crank up.

Even with Marty St Louis’ arrival, Nash may still be the most talented skater on the Rangers. Given St Louis’ eventual Hall of Fame conclusion to his career and Ryan McDonagh’s ascendancy to elite defenseman, that’s a big statement. However, 32 points in 52 games simply cannot be an acceptable return from Nash, even allowing for injuries and the disrupted Olympic season.

What’s wrong with Nash? Prior to the Canadian Olympic roster being named – and after it – Nash admitted that the call to Canada’s elite team was a cause of motivation. It also showed in his play as Nash scored in bunches. In New York Nash should have $7.8 million reasons to be motivated. It goes beyond money though.

Nash wanted a bigger stage and he got it. He wanted to be a focal point in a major market and he certainly has all that in NYC. The Rangers expect him (and need him) to be a leader on and off the ice. By all accounts his tutelage of Chris Kreider has been impressive, but Nash needs to deliver on the ice and to date, he’s not quite been what the Rangers expected.

His first year in New York was an acceptable one – until the playoffs. At close to a point per game, Nash added a genuine elite presence to a Rangers forward unit that was crying out for help. Then came the playoffs where he underwhelmed. This season, Nash has struggled for consistency and health, and suffered through the slumps of his linemates. His momentum was interrupted by the Olympic break, but truly elite players get back on the horse and contribute.

With injuries perhaps taking their toll, are Nash’s days as an elite power forward over? Can he truly be considered in the upper tier anymore? With the Rangers stumbling toward the regular season finish line, now is the time for Nash to take over and deliver. In theory a top six containing Nash, St Louis, Brad Richards and an elite talent like Kreider should be hard to contain. So far, it hasn’t been a consistent struggle for opposing teams.

Rick Nash has all the talent, size and supporting cast he should ever need. It’s time he put the Rangers on his back and showed them what they’ve invested in. The Rangers need Rick Nash to get back to his elite ways quickly, and stop teasing them with his talent.

"Rick Nash needs to step up", 5 out of 5 based on 12 ratings.
Categories : Players


  1. The Suit says:

    I’m with you Chris, I just don’t think Nash is that elite power forward we all want him to be. He was a streaky 60-70 point guy in Columbus and that’s probably what he’ll be here.

  2. "The Original" Rob says:

    Very well said and agreed Chris. It seems like he flies under the radar when it comes to pointing fingers on this club. Everyone is so quick to point at Kreider, Hank, Marty (already) and especially Ritchie, but when it comes to this guy, he get’s a pass and I just don’t get it. I honestly never felt he was a “Power Forward” in Columbus, and he’s proving me right since he’s been here the past 2 years. To me, he’s a big sniper, but with that being said, he’s not living up to that type of player either. Maybe, I’m just more sore about it then most of us, being that I have a dusty Dubinsky jersey hanging in my closet.

  3. AD says:

    Idon’t think fans/media will “turn” on Nash until the playoffs, if we get there. He will need to produce after not having done so last season. Two poor showings when the games count the most will be about all the leeway Nash will be given. Let’s hope he produces.

    Right now, this team is dying for a player or two to carry the club into the playoffs and, so far, no player is stepping up. Keep an eye on Kreider though — he has elevated his game recently and just seems to thrive when Rangers get into playoff mode.

  4. George says:

    Nash has to be at least a point per game player

  5. Walt says:

    Seeing how Artie, and Dubi have scored this season, looks like a bad deal for us. I’m afraid that Nash is becoming like the long list of older players brought in the past, ie Lindroes, Fluery, and endless others, who just went through the motions, and collected a big pay day. Rick show us your three piece set, get in the dirty places, show us that we were right trading for you!! It should embarress Nash to see Jagr, at what 41-42 years of age, out due him, have you no pride????

  6. Ray says:

    I don’t agree at all. For the Rangers to win the Cup (and AV will likely prevent it), they need enough players who are ready to step up to step up. They don’t need Nash or St. Louis or Lundqvist. One of the problems last year was that Torts was more interested in getting Nash started than in winning – and wasn’t riding Brassard and Zuke enough. The Rangers need a hot goaltender, but the preconceived notion of who that tender will be cuts their chances in half. They need some forwards to step up, but they have nine very talented offensive forces (ten counting Miller) and it really doesn’t matter who catches fire. The main vulnerability is the defense since you really want four top guys and the Rangers only have four who can play first rate defense and only three who are. [Stralman seems more critical than Nash]

    I would not say Nash is the most talented Ranger. He is bigger than MSL and MZA and perhaps has more potential because of this, but he is not as talented as either of those guys.

    • tperillo says:

      You don’t win the Rocket Richard trophy as a teenager if you’re not an elite NHL player. Nash has consistently been a dominate player on an absolutely horrible team with little to no supporting roles. Stralman more critical than Nash? Not as talented as MZA or MSL? Did you know who Rick Nash was before he came to New York?

  7. NY to NC says:

    How about Blake Wheeler and Brian Little for Nash this summer? I agree with Chris…Nash a bust and scared to play to his size.

  8. mikeyyy says:

    Remember hockey is a team sport

    Nash has some of the best one on one skills and dangling prowess I have ever seen.

    if he could get the puck in those areas instead of having to skate it in himself he would be scoring.

    brassard zucc and Nash should be a line.

  9. Rod Gilbert1960 says:

    It’s about time this “powerless forward” gets called out. As I stated in previous comments this guy has been skating with eggs in his pockets since the concussion hit in the beginning of the season. Except of course when he was auditioning for his place on the Canadian Olympic Team. He knew where the net was and how to crash it then.

    Sather, PLEASE, buy out Richards and move this clown to fill our weakness up the middle. I know. Move him to Columbus for Dubinsky and Anisimov that will fill our center void.

    J.D. will laugh at you. Maybe we should trade Slats to Columbus for the rightful Ranger GM and that’s Mr. Davidson.

  10. Jess says:

    There is no other team where their fans turn on their players like the Rangers. They will scream “Get this player for we must have him to be our savior” but rarely do they look before they leap.

    Sorry Chris not meaning to pick on you but man it is so old to see this “why haven’t you done anything lately?” stuff. So now Ranger fans will do as they always do which is look for their new flavor of the month and start begging the franchise to go after him for in 2 years they can turn on that player too.

    • flatbush says:

      There are plenty of teams that have fans turning on their players. Toronto Philly Montreal Boston too name a few. Its a roller coaster and long season. Thats the beauty of being a fan.

    • Chris says:

      Hi jess. Don’t feel picked on! Appreciate the comment. That said – and Nash is one if my favourite rangers – however you measure it he has has 2 seasons (almost, including an abbreviated one) where he has been inconsistent and frustrating to watch. For 7.8m I expect more…. And as I said, I love the guy.

      • The Suit says:

        Hey Jess, if that’s how you feel you might want to consider giving up reading about sports on the internet. Time to find a new hobby buddy.

  11. Seahorse says:

    Who’s rick nash?

  12. Bloomer says:

    What exactly where people expecting when the Rangers traded away half their franchise for him. Rick Nash has size and skill, a great shot but he’s not Mario Lemieux or Jagr. The more Sather tries to overreach, the worst this team gets. The Rangers were a young exciting talented team, the Eastern Conference Champs…. then for whatever reason Mr.Sather blew the team up.

    • flatbush says:

      Not an easy job. We forget that when Mess got here we had the best goalie, solid D men but it took more than a year and more tweaking before we made the cup. In hind sight when you look at Torts team it was less talented with more grit. This team has a different concept less grit more talent. Two different concepts and coaching styles. There is no exact formula otherwise everyone would be Scotty Bowman

    • Rangers Fan in Boston says:

      The Rangers were never Eastern Conference champions (remember they lost to the Devils due to a lack of offensive punch) with Argue and Dubie, nor will Columbus be as currently constructed.
      I’m as disappointed in Nash as the rest, but the Rangers needed a top 6 forward, and even now are more of a threat to make the Stanley Cup finals as constructed than those other Torts teams that were a group of grinders. We love our grinders so I get the outcry, but they weren’t winning any Stanley Cups.
      Nash needs to step it up, but his talent gives the Rangers a better chance to win the big prize.

  13. tperillo says:

    Let’s also not discount Stepan’s underwhelming performance this season as part of the reason why Nash hasn’t been lighting it up. I do believe injuries (concussions) are also a big reason why Nash hasn’t been the dominate force he’s been in the past. I must admit, it is extremely frustrating to watch Nash try to stick handle around the entire apposing team only to turn the puck over or shoot a weak wrister from the blue line (Gaborik) game in and game out.

  14. Frank Cerbone says:

    St Louis will be 39 in June I think. He will never get any younger or taller than 5″8″.

    Buy out defensively challenged Richards who most of us fans knew was on the downside of his career BEFORE SATHER THREATENED TO SIGN HIM TO A LONG TERM CONTRACT.

    When Sather also threatened to trade for big, soft Nash we all felt Dubinsky & Nash were unappreciated, let alone the inclusion of a #1 draft pick to sweeten the pot.

    At the end of next season both St Louis & Richards
    will be gone and hopefully Rangers will be $13 mil more under the cap. And Lindberg & JT MIller will be here AND SATHER GONE.

  15. Frank Cerbone says:

    OOPOS, I meant both Dubinsky & Anisimov were unappreciated.

    Finally, when Ranger scouts used to check up on RW Christian Thomas in juniors, Thomas’s linemate was a big, tough, physical guy named Boone Jenner. I hoped the Rangers would pick him with their #1, but Gordie Clark chose JT Miller instead. The rest is history as Boone Jenner is a big, tough, physical winger who can and does score for Columbus.

    You can’t have fans be a better judge of talent and BUDGETING than guys like Sather or Clark.

    But Sather is not a finance/budgeting guy and MANY OF US FANS ARE IN THE REAL WORLD.

  16. leetch says:

    COuldnt agree with you more. While I still believe the trade was totally necessary and has had positive affects, I do not understand Nash’s inconsistencies.

    Against WPG he was skating hard and was a force the entire game. However in the previous 5 games he probably had 2 periods where he played at that level. I dont understand his mentality, but he just seems to disappear or stop playing. Prior to the olympics he was playing like a top 5 player in the league. It is not a coincidence that it coincided with his work ethic increasing, I just wish he would do this every game and not when he feels like it.

  17. Frank Cerbone says:

    Stepan is tied for 1st on rangrs in team scoring and 10th in salary after signing his new contract

    Nash also has the dubious distinction of having more PM than hits; a distinction he shares with PM machine Dorsett and newly acquired St Louis.

    Having more PM than hits either means you are someone operating mostly outside the periphery or you are just stupid at taking PM.

  18. anthony says:

    i like rod gilbert 1960’s comments. Nash major disappointment. Scores little hits never and takes too many minor penalties. how about an elbow? a charge? a slash? get mad for cry in out loud!