Archive for Rick Nash

rick nash

Photo: Jim McIsaac/Newsday

As the trade deadline approaches, the suitors for Rick Nash are going to grow. While that list grows, one team seems to be far ahead in their quest, and that is the Nashville Predators, at least according to Elliotte Friedman. The Preds are “all-in” on Nash, but as Friedman points out, they will need to be willing to part with even more young pieces –they’ve already dealt Sam Girard, Vladislav Kamenev, and a 2nd for Kyle Turris– to facilitate such a trade. They’ve benefited from strong drafts and development, so there is still a match here.

Nash is still a force on the ice, no matter what his detractors say. He consistently drives scoring opportunities and shot attempts on a team that otherwise can’t seem to generate anything consistently on offense. He plays in all three situations, and is one of the top penalty killing forwards out there. He’s a heady player who drives to the net and puts himself in positions to score. The two-way aspect of his game is just gravy at this point. He’s going to get a solid haul, especially if the Rangers retain salary (they will).

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Jan
26

Tear it down

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(GENE J. PUSKAR/AP)

Even With last night’s win against the Sharks, the Rangers head into the All-Star break in a complete free fall.  We have all known for months that the process has sucked, and Henrik Lundqvist had been keeping the team afloat.  Well, now that Chris Kreider is hurt and a consistent rotation of random injuries keep hitting the roster, the team has had to bring up a carousel of AHL talent.  The goals are starting to dry up and Alain Vigneault’s “quality over quantity” system has stalled.

For the past several years, the deployment and systems philosophy had run contrary to our conventional understanding of hockey analytics, and the Rangers’ relative success had many analysts questioning whether the team existed between the lines of the current stats.  While it still might be a true statement, this years’ incarnation (which had apparent depth issues from the outset) has put any evanescent hopes of contention firmly out of reality. Read More→

Categories : Rants
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Jan
19

Random Friday Thoughts

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Photo credit: Julie Jacobson

With their nail biter win last night, the Rangers have now won two in a row and the process looks a lot better than it did a week ago, despite a rash of injuries.  The Blueshirts have four games remaining before the All-Star break, all against Western Conference opponents.  Should be an interesting week. Anyway, I have some thoughts…

1. It’s nice to see Rick Nash see some reward for his effort.  According to Matthew Barlowe (@matt_barlowe), Nash leads the Rangers in discrepancy between his iXG (expected goals) and actual goals.  The implication here is that Nash is snake bitten, which is certainly true, but I think there is also reality that he just simply isn’t the finisher that he used to be.  He still creates, as he is 26th in the league overall in iXG, and we are seeing some of that statistical correction this week, with four goals in his past two games.  This raises his season total to 13 on the season, which increases his pace to just over 23 goals for the season.  Obviously, not what you would expect for a $7.8 million cap hit, but this is still a very useful player the team should re-sign if the cost is reasonable.

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Categories : Uncategorized
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Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

The Rangers badly needed to follow up Tuesday’s win over the Flyers with a solid performance, and bank two more points.  With the bottom-dwelling Sabres in town, the Rangers didn’t disappoint, winning 4-3.  Though the game was a little bit close for comfort, it was another encouraging performance from the Blueshirts, who seem to have bounced back after hitting rock bottom in Pittsburgh.

The Rangers normally rely on a balanced scoring attack, but they’ve found a top line and have started to ride its collective hot hand.  Rick Nash potted two more goals (he now has four in the last two games alone), and Pavel Buchnevich got the game-winner to stave off overtime after the Sabres tied the game 3-3 late in the third.  Let’s take a look at the goals.

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Categories : Game Wrap-ups
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Paul J. Bereswill

At the end of tonight’s game in Arizona, the Rangers will reach the midway point of their 2017-18 regular season.  That means it’s time for some midseason report cards!  To kick things off, we’ll be focusing on the top six forwards.

Complicating matters slightly is the fact that the Rangers don’t have a strict delineation between their top six and bottom six.  There’s definitely a fourth line.  There’s Kevin Hayes handling tough match-ups on a nightly basis, but his wingers have rotated regularly.  So for the purposes of this exercise, let’s call the following players “the top six”: Mika Zibanejad, Chris Kreider, Pavel Buchnevich, Mats Zuccarello, Rick Nash, JT Miller and David Desharnais.  Yes, that’s actually seven forwards.  Just roll with it.

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Jan
05

Poll: the Rangers’ deadline approach

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(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

As the Rangers approach the half-way mark the season, they find themselves in an interesting spot.  They currently sit in the first wild-card spot, three points from dropping out of the playoff picture entirely, yet only four points from home ice advantage in the first round.  They have a soon-to-be 36 year-old franchise goaltender with more three seasons remaining on his contract at $8.5m per year.  They have several attractive soon-to-be UFA forwards on the roster in the form of Rick Nash and Michael Grabner.  They also have a surprising amount of young talent at the NHL level for a team that has been in full stop “go for it” mode for over a decade.

The team plays a counter-punching style, focusing on creating high-danger scoring chances, and relying on quality over quantity in the shots department.  This has created a difficult analysis in determining whether they actually have a sustainable profile as a contender.  There have been ups and downs in performance so, far, creating a “will the real New York Rangers please stand up” scenario over the season’s first half.  There are deployment issues and a fan base looking at a coach with a razor thin margin.  There is no question there are depth issues, personnel issues and coaching issues when determining whether this team is capable of making a run.

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rick nash rangers sharks

Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

Much like their dilemma with Michael Grabner, the Rangers have a tough choice to make this offseason (or sooner) with Rick Nash. The good news is that unlike Grabner, Nash will likely be looking at a pretty large pay cut from his current $7.8 million deal. The bad news is that he still isn’t going to be cheap.

Nash may not be worth his $7.8 million on the score sheet, but he’s still good for roughly 25 goals and 40-50 points over an 82 game season. That may not seem like much, but that’s still top-six production. Factor in that Nash is a force on the ice and draws attention, and he’s a valuable asset for any team.

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Categories : Players
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rick nash rangers sharks

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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rick nash

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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Categories : Players
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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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