(AP Photo/Gus Ruelas)
In almost every post here since Rick Nash went down with a concussion, the talk has been about his status, how long he will be out, and how good the Rangers will be (now that they appear to be clicking) once he returns full time. However, there has been a lot of concern about the severity of his concussion. Mum has been the word from the Rangers, and while that doesn’t necessarily mean bad things, it’s not exactly a positive either.
With concussions, the rule of thumb is no news is bad news. We here at BSB are the eternal optimists, but even we are beginning to get a little concerned about Nash’s concussion, his second in a calendar year. The Rangers have a history of being quiet about concussions, since there is never a set time table for his return. They were quiet for Marc Staal, who took almost a year to come back. They were quiet with Mike Sauer, who never came back.
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Frank Franklin II/AP
Since Dave was at the game last night and the rest of the crew was otherwise engaged, apologies for the lack of goal breakdown. However, to fill that void, I figured I’d share some thoughts following last night’s game.
I can’t help but notice how much more organized the Rangers look in all three zones over the past couple games. AV’s system requires constantly changing coverage assignments and a more fluid positional structure. I can see why after four years of the relatively straight forward Torts’ zone coverage why this was an adjustment. Seems like they are finally getting it with some consistency.
The goal scoring woes are an odd situation. Kevin did a great job of breaking down the shooting percentage situation, and if you didn’t get a chance to read that piece, make sure do you ASAP. Long story short, though, is that the Rangers’ shooting percentage is unsustainably low and will regress back to the mean and the scoring will come. Last night’s game was something of a prime example of this. Ryan Miller made some tremendous saves on pucks that would normally find the back of the net. That game should have easily been 5-0. Read more »
Makes you wonder
Let’s get the obvious out of the way: There is no way to replace Rick Nash in a lineup. He’s the lone game breaker this club has, and his absence has created a gaping hole in the lineup. Concussions are a tricky thing, and the Rangers aren’t exactly known for their transparency when it comes to dealing with them. Lest we forget the lack of information made publicly in regards to Michael Sauer.
Nash has now suffered a pair of concussions in less than a calendar year, and it is unknown if or when he will return. If the Rangers project him to be out long-term, and we should find out relatively soon via LTIR, then expect GM Glen Sather to explore the trade market for a replacement RW. With Nash on LTIR, the Rangers are allowed to spend over the cap by Nash’s cap hit ($7.8 million). That’s a lot of extra money to work with.
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Per Pat Leonard, the Rangers have placed concussed winger Rick Nash on injured reserve. The move is a paperwork move, and it allows the Rangers an extra roster spot to call up an additional forward for Wednesday’s game in Washington after waiving Arron Asham.
It is expected that the Rangers will call up one or both of J.T. Miller and Chris Kreider.
Note that this is not LTIR, the Rangers do not gain additional cap space.
Per Nick Cotsonika, Rick Nash is expected to be out 7-10 days after being the recipient of a high hit from Brad Stuart. Luckily for the Rangers, New York has a light schedule, with just three or four games in that time frame. This is Nash’s second concussion with the Rangers.
If Nash misses three games, then this will be the first time a suspension lasts for the duration of the sustained injury. Nice coincidence.
Update (10/10/13): Brendan Shanahan has handed down a three game suspension to Brad Stuart.
Update (10/9/13): Brad Stuart has a phone hearing with the league. Since this is a phone hearing, the maximum suspension Stuart can receive is five games.
Original Post (10/8/13): Rick Nash has not returned from the locker room after the first intermission, and will not play for the rest of the game. John Giannone announced on the Rangers broadcast that Nash is suffering from some ill effects after taking a Brad Stuart elbow to the head. Naturally we are all thinking concussion, but let’s just hope he’s just a little dizzy.
Rick Nash is facing a huge amount of pressure. Starting Thursday
As the Rangers prepare to open their season on Thursday against the Phoenix Coyotes, they will do so missing two of their presumptive top six forwards and with their de facto top line center behind the eight ball thanks to Derek Stepan’s (partial) holdout. Throw in the continued struggles of the likes of Chris Kreider and the less than inspiring preseason of Brad Richards, and the pressure on Rick Nash to lead an offense has never been greater.
Despite being part of a far more talented collective in New York, Nash wouldn’t even have faced this level of expectancy in Columbus, where he was the lone elite talent. In New York this season, the Rangers’ burly power forward is expected to lead a contender’s offense for the first time, and do so in a legitimate big sports market (sorry Ohio).
At the start of last year it was assumed Brad Richards was still a top line center. The excitement of Chris Kreider’s arrival was still very real, and the Rangers of course still had a guy called Marian Gaborik. Fast forward a year and the Rangers begin the season without Ryan Callahan and Carl Hagelin, Richards is a shadow of his former self, and Kreider is in the AHL.
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A bounce-back season from Brad Richards would be a huge boost for the Rangers
Best case: Asham continues to provide comedic relief on Twitter and plays in a handful of games with the Blueshirts.
Worst case: New York is unable to find a taker for Asham on waivers and he spends the final year of his contract in Hartford.
Best case: The former fourth-overall pick puts it all together as a Blueshirt and records a 20-goal season.
Worst case: The Rangers learn why Pouliot has already played for four teams in his young career and the big forward is invisible most nights. Read more »
My name is Rick Nash. I am very good at hockey.
The quiet season is well and truly underway but that doesn’t mean the hockey world is standing still. Let’s have a look around the league and have an impromptu musings shall we?
The Capitals signed Mikhail Grabovski this week and it’s a good move. They needed to add some talent and he’s a solid center. It’s incredible to think the Leafs bought a player out less than 18 months after giving him a long term extension. With losing Mike Ribeiro the Caps were in danger of going backwards, Grabovski helps a lot for $3m.
I keep reading that the Rangers are in danger of losing Derek Stepan? Calm down folks. There is no urgency here. He has no negotiating power and it would take an over-the-top offer sheet for the Rangers not to match. The lack of a new deal is no indicator of the importance Stepan has, merely that it’s not a critical priority.
My first prediction for the new season: With one year as a Ranger under his belt, with a full camp, Rick Nash will top 40 goals. In a new system that should give him more offensive zone starts there’s no reason Nash shouldn’t reach that number again. If Nash is healthy and has support from his line mates he should reach that figure. He was close last year (on pace for 39). With Callahan and Hagelin missing to begin, he’ll be needed more than ever.
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Rick Nash and Marc Staal were 2 of 47 invited to Canadian Olympic camp, as Canada looks to form their team from this group. Nash was on the 2006 and 2010 rosters, but Staal was left off the 2010 roster after receiving an invite. Dan Girardi was notably absent from the list, but there are a lot of big names there.