Archive for Rick Nash

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Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

The Rangers are going to have a lot of decisions to make this trade deadline, which although I realize is a ways away, is still worth discussing given how some of their players on expiring contracts are playing. The two players in particular who I’m thinking of are of course Rick Nash and Michael Grabner, who have been excellent secondary scorers for the Blueshirts thus far this season. Both players have similar skillsets and similar output (at least at first glance) thus far, so I thought it would be interesting to delve a little bit deeper into what the Rangers might want to do with one or both of them.

Given this whole “rebuild on the fly business”, and given that the playoffs are anything but a given at this point, the Rangers should at least think about trading an expiring asset in return for something good come the end of winter.

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Nov
28

Rick Nash is Actually Good

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Photo: Jim McIsaac/Newsday

Continuing with the praise of guys who seem to get a lot of heat, let’s look at Rick Nash. His $7.8 million contract has been a lightning rod for people, and for good reason. Paying that much should mean star production. The key here is that “star production” can be a subjective term.

For Nash, it seems people are expecting 40-50 goals per year. I personally think that to be a bit unrealistic, as Nash has only done that twice in his career. However he’s been close to or has exceeded the 30-goal per 82-game pace for most of his tenure in New York. His injury riddled seasons the past two years being the only two where he hasn’t averaged a 30-goal pace. Injuries, especially concussions, can be very tricky.

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Nov
17

Some quick Friday thoughts

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(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Happy Friday, BSB faithful!  Through more or less the quarter season mark, it has been the tale of two campaigns for the Rangers thus far: the tire fire first twelve games, which saw the Blueshirts go 3-7-2 and the much improved last seven games, when they went 6-1-0.  The Rangers have jumped back into the playoff picture with the win streak, so naturally, I have some thoughts…

1. As Dave has mentioned several times, the need for another center (or forward depth in general) just isn’t going away.  Mika Zibanejad has been a revelation and Kevin Hayes has been a much more effective 2C than I would have imagined.  However, for this team to actually contend, they need to be able to create matchup headaches lower in the lineup. Read More→

Categories : Musings
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Mar
31

On chemistry

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New York Post

Since the analytics movement began a few years ago, there has been a pretty consistent back and forth amongst the old and new school about the proper way to go about assembling a hockey team. The old adage is that you can’t build a team on a spreadsheet. More goes into it than that. On the other side of the coin, you take what you can quantify and use the most important data as the backbone for the team’s construction. At the end of the day, it all kind of boils down to “how do you quantify chemistry, character and heart?” It is even possible? Read More→

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Mar
24

Some late March thoughts

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After a semi-frustrating loss to the Islanders on Wednesday, the Rangers now have eight games left in the regular season. They have a 12-point lead in their spot for the first wild card and a 14-point lead for the second wild card. At this juncture, it’s pretty clear they are going to be playing the winner of the Atlantic Division, the only question is whether Montreal will be able to hold on or if Ottawa will overtake their current three point lead. At this weird spot in the season, I have some thoughts… Read More→

Categories : Musings
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AP Photo/Kathy Willens

The Rangers are finally starting to get healthy, per the notes from practice yesterday. To summarize:

Categories : Injuries
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Nash has been good, almost great. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Where do you start with the Rangers top six? If you’re grading the offense as a whole, it’s fair to say you would give the team a strong grade – probably A level.

The Rangers boast an elite (at least statistically) powerplay, they sit second in the league in goals per game (3.4/game) and have scored more goals than every team in the league (144 at time of writing). However, when you break it down, has every player played to his own individual ability?

Rick Nash

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Jan
03

Has Rick Nash has become untouchable?

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Rick Nash may never again score 40 goals in a season, but his play this season should put any debate about his Rangers’ future to bed. So long as Dan Girardi is on the Rangers blue line, and Jeff Gorton doesn’t significantly address the Rangers defense, the Rangers cannot afford to get rid of a genuinely elite two-way player such as Nash.

Nash’s play without the puck and his defensive conscience are essential to the team, as in his absence we’ve seen inconsistent play from the forwards in their own zone. The Rangers are not a good team defensively and this relative ineptitude in their own zone has only enforced Nash’s importance to the cause.

Even before confirmation that he needs to be protected in the expansion draft, Nash’s own impressive play this season should have made him a player the Rangers would have protected anyway. There is simply no replacing Nash. Whether it’s his ability as a goal scorer, as a leader, or as a two-way example to the younger players on the roster. Cap hit and age be damned.

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Dec
30

The frustration of reserving judgment

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The Rangers have gone 8-3 in their last eleven games, which is obviously a good thing. However, there has been some really bad process along the way. I don’t think there is any question at this point that the Rangers are most definitely a playoff team, but the bigger concern lies in their ability to win a seven game series with the likes of the Penguins and Capitals.

At BSB, we analyze performance on a game-by-game basis, while trying to identify good and bad traits in what is happening on the ice. We also like to take macro view of overall production and trends, which can hopefully be predictive of future performance and adjustments that need to be made for sustained success. I suppose what makes analyzing this stretch of Rangers’ hockey frustrating is the injuries to several key forwards, namely Rick Nash, Mika Zibanejad and Pavel Buchnevich.

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He scored! (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Per Larry Brooks, forward Rick Nash, who just returned from a groin injury, will miss tomorrow’s game against the Penguins with a different groin injury. Nash played just one shift in last night’s shootout win against the Devils, tweaking the other groin in the process.

Nash has been a monster this season, turning in a dominant performance in almost every game he’s played. But now the Rangers will be without him again, just as they were starting to get healthy.

Nash’s timetable is uncertain, but after tomorrow against Pittsburgh, the Rangers don’t play until Friday, then have the mandated Christmas break for another three games. It wouldn’t shock me if Nash misses both games before returning after Christmas.

Categories : Injuries
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