Tag: Derick Brassard


So much for Rick Nash’s slump


Hey, remember when everyone was burying New York Rangers winger Rick Nash?

OK, to be fair, his postseason struggles were starting to border on their weird. It’s not as if these were isolated incidents, as he’s now at 59 career playoff games (with No. 60 coming in Game 7 on Friday).

Whatever the case may be, the 30-year-old is firing on all cylinders all of a sudden. While Nash and the Rangers failed to score on Ben Bishop in Game 5, the power forward has otherwise been making up for lost time. Including last night’s four-point performance, seven of his 14 playoff points came in Games 4 and 6.

He really seems to be asserting himself overall, too, as he has five shots on goal in three straight games.

There’s a solid chance that Nash is just trying to supply standard answers when asked about his recent successes, yet it’s also plausible that he’s getting a dig or two in on his critics by chalking up much of his recent breaks to sticking with the gameplan (and playing stout defense).

That brings us to the chicken-and-the-egg argument regarding how much of his success comes from the red-hot work of linemates Derick Brassard and J.T. Miller.

All three forwards made some beautiful music together in Game 6, so it’s likely a collaborative effort. Brassard pegs Miller as the “energizer bunny” of the trio, which made for a fairly amusing interplay between the young forward and Pierre McGuire:

Much like Nash, Miller’s teammates have noticed his efforts even if it took some time for the results to really come, as Brassard noted to the New York Daily News.

“His attitude for the past two weeks, he’s been working really hard,” Brassard said. “I can remember the day when I was saying (J.T.) is really close to making a difference here and being on the board. And Rick was a beast.”

There’s also, uh, this.

A week ago, many believed that Nash’s confidence was shattered; now his line is being described as New York’s answer to “The Triplets.” (Hey, it’s not like there’s anything identical about Tampa Bay’s trio, right?)

Nash would be the first to note how quickly things can turn … but at the moment, he is silencing his critics.

Video: Lundqvist helps lead Rangers back to New York for Game 7

Henrik Lundqvist

An ideal start is what the New York Rangers got off to on Tuesday, in a game they needed to win, on the shoulders of Henrik Lundqvist.

Sure, the Rangers converted a pair of goals, including one of Derick Brassard’s three on the night, to take the lead. Those two goals came on seven shots, while the Tampa Bay Lightning, with a chance to earn a berth in the Stanley Cup Final, fired 16 toward Lundqvist.

He made 28 saves through two periods, including this left-pad stop on Steven Stamkos.

Former Ranger Ryan Callahan was the only Tampa Bay player to get a puck by Lundqvist until the third period.

Tampa bay was in chase mode by the time they solved Lundqvist. The Rangers have, once again, forced a Game 7.

“It’s really the best feeling,” Lundqvist told the Toronto Sun.

“It’s a lot of adrenalin and pressure and you’re nervous going into these games. You have to enjoy it. Everything on the line again, playing in front of our fans, there is not a better feeling than to have a big game at home.”


Video: Miller starts Rangers scoring spree seconds after spectacular Bishop save


J.T. Miller got it all started.

The 22-year-old Miller scored his first goal of the post-season — and first career Stanley Cup playoff goal — to give the New York Rangers a 3-1 lead early in the third period, seconds after Ben Bishop made an absolutely spectacular save. But Bishop couldn’t get back into position, and Miller buried the quick pass out front from Derick Brassard.

That was the first of five New York goals in the third period. The Rangers forced a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Final with a 7-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday.

A storm brewing: Rangers rally to force Game 7 with Lightning (Video)

Getty Images

For the second straight series in these playoffs, the New York Rangers have forced a Game 7 after facing elimination.

This time, it will be against the Tampa Bay Lightning, with the winner advancing to the Stanley Cup Final.

It didn’t seem like much of a surprise that the Rangers had held on to take a 2-1 lead into the third period. They’ve been in similar situations like that before. But, needing the win, they erupted for five goals, chasing Ben Bishop from the net, in the third period to defeat the Lightning 7-3 in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final.

Derick Brassard recorded the hat trick for New York, capping off a five-point night that started with the opening goal less than four minutes in.

“Honestly I just go out there and I try to just make a difference,” Brassard told NHL.com.

“When I feel like the team needs some support offensively or I feel I need to step up, I just try to do it. I don’t really put any pressure on myself. The disappointment from losing last year I think really hit me from losing the last game at home and facing elimination tonight. We’re not far away to be in the Final again. I just play.”

J.T. Miller and Rick Nash each recorded four-point nights for the Rangers, as well.

The goals came quick in the final period. Miller, James Sheppard and Brassard each scored for New York within the span 4:12, ending the night for Bishop, who allowed five goals on 26 shots.

“That’s why the won the Presidents’ trophy. If you stop thinking about your net for a little bit, that’s what can happen,” said Bishop, as per the New York Daily News.

While the Lightning managed a pair of goals in the third, with New York comfortably ahead at that point, Henrik Lundqvist came up with another strong performance. His biggest save came off Steven Stamkos in the first period, with the Rangers up by a goal.

Shortly after that stop, a left-pad act of denial on one of the league’s best scorers, the Rangers were able to increase their lead, in a physical, at times chippy game.

Stanley Cup finalists a year ago, the Rangers managed to battle back from a 3-1 series deficit in the second round against Washington.

Against Tampa Bay at Madison Square Garden, do the Rangers have another series comeback in them?

We’ll find out Friday.

Video: Brassard opens scoring for Rangers in Game 6


Facing elimination from the Stanley Cup playoffs, the New York Rangers opened the scoring in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday.

After taking a neat pass from J.T. Miller, Derick Brassard slipped a backhander from in close through the legs of Ben Bishop less than four minutes into the opening period. That’s his seventh goal of these playoffs.