Tag: Rick Nash

Rick Nash

Rick Nash: ‘A bounce would be nice’


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.

Holtby outduels Lundqvist as Caps take series lead

Braden Holtby

For the third straight game, the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers were separated by just one goal. Thanks to a Jay Beagle’s marker, it was the Capitals that came out ahead 1-0 on Monday to take a 2-1 series lead.

This was truly a goaltending duel as even Beagle’s goal was the result of a shot that bounced off Rangers defenseman Keith Yandle’s skate right next to the line. It would have consequently been very difficult for Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist to stop it. In fact, Lundqvist has been great so far in the 2015 playoffs and the fact that the Rangers now find themselves trailing shouldn’t be put on his shoulders.

Rather than put too much blame on the Rangers in general, it seems appropriate to credit Capitals netminder Braden Holtby. The 25-year-old saved 30 shots to earn his first shutout of the playoffs. The Rangers had some good chances in this one, including this literally last minute attempt by Rick Nash:

Nash fired a team-high seven shots on goal, but is still stuck at just one goal in seven playoff games this year. Postseason woes are nothing new for him as he has six goals in 49 career playoff contests compared to 378 markers in 862 regular season games. His drought is particularly glaring considering that he found the back of the net a career-high 42 times in 2014-15.

The Rangers need to hope that he finds a way to solve Holtby in Game 4 because while their situation isn’t desperate yet, it wouldn’t take much for it to reach that level.

WATCH LIVE: Rangers at Capitals


This is the fifth playoff series between the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals since the start of 2009 and of the previous four meetings, three of them went all the way to Game 7. This series has the potential to be just as close.

The first two contests were decided by only one goal and each squad took one of those games. That’s a net positive for Washington though as the series began in New York. Now the onus is on the Rangers to win at least one contest on the road and their first opportunity will come tonight in Game 3.

The game will begin at 7:30 p.m. ET and air on NBCSN, but you can tune in at 6:30 for the pregame coverage. You also have the option of streaming the contest via NBC Sports Live Extra:


Here are some relevant links:

Once again, Rick Nash isn’t scoring in the playoffs

Five team stats you may find interesting

Here’s your Stanley Cup playoff TV schedule for tonight

Caps add some depth by recalling Schmidt

Lundqvist caught by surprise on spectacular Ovechkin goal

Once again, Rick Nash isn’t scoring in the playoffs

Washington Capitals v New York Rangers - Game Two

Google the name “Rick Nash” with the phrase “get inside” and you get over 20,000 matches.

That should tell you something about 1) how closely Nash is put under the microscope and 2) what many believe he has to do in order to score goals.

That includes him.

“You just have to keep trying to get on the inside,” Nash said, per NHL.com. “I can’t allow my game to be completely on the outside. I have to get to the inside; that’s the biggest thing. You can always do more. There’s always more I can do to try to score.”

Nash has only scored once in these playoffs, despite registering 25 shots. That stat line is reminiscent of last year’s, when he scored just three goals on 83 shots in the postseason, as well as the year’s before that, when he had just one goal on 42 shots.

In his career, Nash has just six playoff goals on 163 shots, for a remarkably low shooting percentage of 3.7. In the regular season, his career shooting percentage is dramatically higher, at 12.5.

“When I look at our personnel and at who can do the net-front presence and still be able to tip pucks, take some checks in front and maybe slide some pucks in, I look at [Chris Kreider] and [Nash],” coach Alain Vigneault said, per the New York Post.

Of course, that’s easier said than done in the playoffs, when teams protect the front of the net with more gusto and the officials tend to let more of the gusto go.

It’s also easier said than done against the Capitals, who boast some pretty big boys on the back end.

Game 3 of Caps-Rangers goes tonight in D.C. The series is tied 1-1.

Related: Five team stats you may find interesting

Five team stats you may find interesting

Calgary Flames v Anaheim Ducks - Game One

5 — The number of power-play goals for the Anaheim Ducks in these playoffs. That’s been huge for them, especially after they struggled with the man advantage during the regular season (28th, 15.7%). On paper, the Ducks’ power play should be deadly. Corey Perry is one of the top snipers in hockey, Ryan Getzlaf is one of the top play-making forwards, and Sami Vatanen is the kind of creative blue-liner that can open lanes from up top. Those three have combined for 11 PP points in six games.

45.6% — Minnesota’s Corsi close, the lowest percentage of all 16 playoff teams. The Wild were one of the top possession teams during the regular season, but facing the Blues and Blackhawks in the postseason has been a challenge. The Wild, like the Ducks, have taken advantage of their power-play opportunities, scoring six times on just 17 opportunities. But they’ll likely need to control a bit more of the five-on-five play if they hope to get back in the series.

.922 — Montreal’s team save percentage, No. 8 out of 16. The Habs had the highest team save percentage (.926) out of 30 during the regular season. And while you can’t say Carey Price has been bad in the playoffs, because he definitely hasn’t been, the Canadiens simply don’t score enough for him to be anything but great.

6 — Times out of nine that the Washington Capitals have surrendered the first goal. They’re 2-4 in that situation and 3-0 when they score first. As a whole, the team that’s scored first in these playoffs has gone 35-20. So yeah, for the most part, it’s been pretty important to get that 1-0 lead.

6.3% — Five-on-five shooting percentage for the New York Rangers, 12th out of 16. The Blueshirts finished the regular season at 8.8 percent, fourth out of 30, with some arguing there was bound to be a regression. Rick Nash, in a related story, has just one goal on 25 shots.