By setting a new career-high with 42 goals in the regular season, it felt like New York Rangers winger Rick Nash redeemed himself after a tough 2014 postseason. That seemed true, at least, until the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs began.
Now it’s the same old story with Nash, as he’s been limited to one measly goal in eight playoff games so far.
The frustration seemed to hit a new level in Game 3 on Sunday, as he failed to find the net despite firing seven shots on goal. Remarkably, his 2015 postseason shooting percentage of 3.1 is now even lower than his startlingly bad career playoff percentage of 3.5.
Even those who scream about a perceived preponderance of peripheral shots have to admit that this is a bit ridiculous.
The 30-year-old admitted that he could use a little luck while discussing his frustrations with the New York Daily News.
“A bounce would be nice,” Nash said. “The ones that were going in early in the season aren’t there. Especially when your goalie gives you a chance to win, I definitely look at myself, and it’s frustrating.”
Nash is too familiar with the nature of the beast: fair or not, a star player’s struggles get magnified when his team isn’t scoring in the playoffs. It’s not just Nash who isn’t scoring for the Rangers, after all; New York is only generating 1.88 goals per game in the postseason after averaging more than three during the regular season. (Nash’s 42 goals accounted for about .5 goals per game, which is pretty remarkable.)
It’s not as if the Rangers have been awful, especially since their wins and losses have all been close. Much like Nash, the team’s puck luck hasn’t always been there.
It all seems quite frustrating for Nash and his team, yet he can look at Steven Stamkos in Tampa Bay and other examples of snipers breaking through. Then again, Nash’s struggles now extend to 49 career playoff games, so it’s also plausible that these frustrations won’t cease.