In the mind of Alain Vigneault, Rick Nash has done many positive things for the New York Rangers in these Stanley Cup playoffs.
He just hasn’t been scoring, which has been an issue in the two previous times the 29-year-old Nash was in the post-season.
“I mean, he’s doing everything that I think you want from a player. He’s going to the tough areas. He’s shooting the puck. He’s going hard on the forecheck. He’s being physical. He’s creating turnovers,” Vigneault, the Rangers’ head coach, told reporters on Thursday, the day after his team staved off a sweep in the Stanley Cup Final against the L.A. Kings.
“You know, all I can say right now is I got to believe by playing the way he is right now, he will get rewarded. I’m hoping that’s going to be tomorrow.”
The Rangers, down 3-1 in the series, need three more wins in order to win their first championship since 1994.
Nash’s struggles to score in the post-season go beyond this year; he had two goals in a combined 16 playoff games prior to this spring. The tale of his post-season woes has been interesting, especially again this year.
Some examples of the ever-evolving story line:
April 26: Rangers hope for more goals from Rick Nash
May 6: Rick Nash has yet to don his boy boy pants
May 7: Video: Slumping Rick Nash booed by Rangers fans
May 11: Nash on playoff-long goal drought: ‘The chances are there’
May 16: ‘Overdue’ Nash getting chances, says AV
May 17: Video: Rick Nash finally scores a playoff goal in 2014
May 19: Video: St. Louis, Nash score again
May 20: PHT Morning Skate: Rick Nash has reason to smile more
June 4: Rick Nash getting things done in other ways for Rangers
June 7: Nash says he has to finish chances, cut turnovers in Game 2
It was a scary sight.
Carlo Colaiacovo fell to his hands and knees after taking a cross-check to the throat from Predators forward Viktor Arvidsson (above).
Arvidsson received a five-minute major and a game misconduct, while Colaiacovo suffered a dented trachea on the play.
After the game, both Dan Bylsma and Peter Laviolette agreed that there was no malicious intent on Arvidsson’s part.
“I don’t think there was intent there to maliciously cross-check,” Bylsma said. “They kind of lose the puck, turn and his stick is right at that level and delivers a blow. When you look at it, it’s a pretty stiff cross-check to Carlo’s neck.”
“It was tough for Arvidsson,” said Laviolette. “I don’t think he had any bad intentions. He just ran into somebody and the stick got caught a little bit high, but just a tough turn of events.”
The Sabres defenseman left the game and was treated at a nearby hospital, but there is some good news to report.
According to the Buffalo News, Colaiacovo was released from hospital and he was able to travel to Detroit with his teammates.
It’s unclear how long he’ll be out.
There’s been a lot of movement between Montreal and Saint John’s lately and that continued on Sunday.
This time, it’s forward Daniel Carr who’ll be getting a stint with the big club.
Carr has no prior NHL experience.
The 24-year-old spent four years at Union College before joining the Canadiens organization as an undrafted free agent.
In his first season as a pro, Carr scored 24 goals (led the team) and 39 points in 76 AHL games with the Hamilton Bulldogs in 2014-15.
This year, Carr has seven goals and 15 points in 20 games.
Montreal is without forwards Torrey Mitchell, Brendan Gallagher and Alexander Semin.
Brian Campbell doesn’t score as many points as he used to, but he came up with a huge goal against the Red Wings on Sunday afternoon.
With the game tied, 1-1, in overtime, Campbell skated into the slot and beat Petr Mrazek with a perfect wrister to end the game.
It was also a pretty nice passing play between Jussi Jokinen, Jonathan Huberdeau and Campbell.
Dylan Larkin opened the scoring in the second period before Reilly Smith leveled the score with just over five minutes remaining.
The Wings have blown a lead in three straight games.
Detroit was up 2-0 and 3-2 in their last game, against Edmonton, before they finally closed the game out with an overtime goal by Niklas Kronwall.
They weren’t so fortunate against the Bruins on Wednesday, as they lost 3-2 in OT after leading 2-1 with under two minutes remaining in regulation.
This was the first meeting of the season between Detroit and Florida, but they’ll see each other three times between Feb. 4 and Mar. 19.
You can’t blame Mike Babcock for siding with the relatively unknown when the other option is Jonathan Bernier, a goalie who’s 0-8-1 so far in 2015-16.
With that in mind, meet Garret Sparks, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ expected starter for Monday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers.
Sparks was a seventh-round pick (190th overall) in 2011, a guy who was off to a great start in the AHL. That much wasn’t lost on Babcock.
Let’s face it, though; this is as much about the Leafs’ other two goalies as it is about Sparks (whose name inspired a very obscure reference in this post’s headline).
In Bernier’s case, there’s an “enough’s enough” feel:
Meanwhile, James Reimer‘s not quite healthy enough to play yet, so the window of opportunity is open for Sparks … a little bit.
Sparks will get a chance to make an impression, even if it’s just a small one.