Rick Nash

Islanders overwhelm Rangers in third to stay perfect


For most of tonight’s game between the New York Rangers and Islanders, it looked like this game would go down to the wire. However, the third period was all about the Islanders, allowing them to claim a decisive 6-3 victory.

The Islanders’ offense has been as balanced as it has been overwhelming so far in 2014-15. That was highlighted tonight as six different players found the back of the net for them (Johnny Boychuk, John Tavares, Kyle Okposo, Brock Nelson, Mikhail Grabovski, and Nick Leddy). Making that all the more encouraging for those that hope the Islanders’ 3-0-0 record is just the start of a great season is the fact that half of those players weren’t members of the team in 2013-14.

Nelson has been the biggest story for the Islanders though. The 22-year-old sophomore now has four goals and seven points in just three contests after recording 26 points as a rookie.

For Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, this was an extension to his bad start to the season. After also being blown out by Toronto on Sunday, this is the first time that Lundqvist has ever allowed five or more goals in back-to-back starts, according to the New York Post’s Larry Brooks.

The only silver lining for the Rangers is that Rick Nash extended his goal streak to a franchise record breaking four games with his fifth and sixth markers of 2014-15.

Rick Nash extends goal streak, sets franchise record


Rick Nash was limited to just 39 points last season, but he’s been great so far in 2014-15.

He scored early in Tuesday’s game against the New York Islanders to extend his season-opening goal streak to four games.

You can watch him beat goaltender Jaroslav Halak on a bad angle below:

With that marker, Nash now has five goals and six points this season. He also set a franchise record by opening the campaign with at least one marker in the Rangers’ first four contests, per the team’s Twitter feed.

Rick Nash left Sunday’s Rangers loss to be with his pregnant wife


The New York Rangers haven’t exactly gotten off to the greatest start so far in 2014-15, but Rick Nash is looking revitalized with four goals and one assist in his first three games. Hopefully the “birth of his first-born child” thing won’t throw him off, then.

The Rangers allowed Nash, 30, to leave an ugly 6-3 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs before the third period on Sunday for about as valid a reason as you can get: his wife was apparently expecting to give birth.

Apparently the red-hot power forward was questionable to play last night, as it looked like his child was on the way Sunday afternoon:

You don’t get the opportunity to mark someone down as “questionable (probable birth of first-born child)” every day, but it’s a delightful reminder that “real life” can often intrude upon the escape that is professional sports.

There hasn’t been an update yet regarding how everything went for the growing Nash clan, so for now let’s just enjoy the beautiful goal he scored on Sunday, with a splendid assist from Martin St. Louis:

Naturally, the Rangers’ loss and this news prompted some jokes, including this bit:

Hey, at least people aren’t questioning his commitment to the team for leaving the game yet, right?

Rangers give Malone a chance, sign veteran forward to two-way deal


The New York Rangers have signed veteran forward Ryan Malone. It’s reportedly a two-way deal for one year and $700,000.

Malone has been skating informally with the Rangers, so the signing is no surprise. The 34-year-old recently apologized to the Tampa Bay Lightning for the circumstances (arrested and charged with DUI, cocaine possession) that contributed to being bought out by the Florida club.

Only time will tell if Malone is still capable of contributing to an NHL team. He hasn’t been an impact player since 2011-12, when he scored 20 goals with 28 assists for the Lightning.

Some analysis from the New York Post:

The Rangers don’t appear to have a top-six spot open for Malone with the spots on the wing belonging to Rick Nash, Marty St. Louis, Chris Kreider and Mats Zuccarello. Carl Hagelin owns the third-line left wing position, meaning Malone would compete against J.T. Miller, Jesper Fast, Kevin Hayes and a myriad of young potential gate-crashers for the spot across from Hagelin.

Related: Malone pleads no contest to DUI; cocaine possession charge could be dismissed

Fanspeak: Rick Nash voted greatest Blue Jacket in franchise history


This summer, NBC Sports’ social media team is conducting the #NHLGreatest initiative, designed for fans to choose the best player in each franchise’s history. Balloting was conducted through three platforms — Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — with thousands of votes being cast. The results of this initiative will be released throughout the month of August, in conjunction with PHT’s Team of the Day series.

Columbus Blue Jackets

1. Rick Nash (545)

2. Sergei Bobrovsky (135)

3. Marian Gaborik (54)

The overwhelming selection of Nash as the franchise’s greatest player is hardly surprising. Columbus had the first overall pick in their third draft (2002) and used it to select Nash. In the decade that followed he was the face of the franchise.

The young franchise didn’t have much success during Nash’s tenure and struggled to find capable linemates for him, but Nash was effective in spite of that, reaching or surpassing the 30-goal milestone in seven of his nine seasons in Columbus.

He is by far the team’s leader in goals scored with 289 (the next highest is R.J. Umberger at 120) and also holds the franchise records for games played, assists, and points.

Nash became the team captain in 2008 and seemingly committed to spending his career with Columbus by agreeing to an eight-year, $62.4 million contract. However, in the second season of that deal he demanded a trade and his request was fulfilled during the summer of 2012. At the time, the future looked bleak for the Blue Jackets, but they rebounded quickly and earned their first playoff win in 2014.

He’ll likely go down as a player that helped give the team an identity early in their history, but it would be good news for the Blue Jackets if a decade from now, Nash wasn’t still running away with the title of the franchise’s greatest player.

Bobrovsky is the team’s new MVP and if he has sustained success in Columbus, then he might surpass Nash in these types of votes. The fact that Gaborik, who is a great player, but had a shaky tenure with Columbus, ranked third speaks to the need for the team’s young forwards to prove themselves. Ryan Johansen certainly took a step in that direction when he scored 33 goals and 63 points last season.

So while Nash is the undisputed winner of this poll, the real question is if that will still be the case if we do it again in 2024.