Columbus forward Rick Nash told NHL.com today he’s feeling the pressure of captaining the NHL’s worst team.
“When you win, everyone looks at leadership and thinks they have great leadership,” Nash said. “When you lose, leadership always gets questioned. I understand that’s what comes along with being a captain. This is definitely the toughest times I’ve faced being a captain.”
Not to pile on Nash or discredit his feelings, but the majority of his captaincy has been a tough time. Since inheriting the “C” from Adam Foote in Mar. 2008, the Nash-led BJs have gone 114-122-38.
To be brutally honest, I’m not even sure this current run of poor play is the worst he’s dealt with. Nash was around for the “three wins in 24 games” stretch that started in late Nov. 2009 and went into Jan. 2010, after all. That basically cost Ken Hitchcock his job.
So, the point?
Columbus’ problems really aren’t about Nash. It probably sucks being the captain of a horrible team, but much of the horribleness is out of his control. He should sit back, relax, maybe order a lime rickey.
Columbus has many issues, but Nash isn’t a pressing one (I guess you could make the case he’s a small issue, what with his minus-12 rating.)
Goaltending, though — now that’s a problem.
Tonight the Blue Jackets will face the red-hot Bruins at TD Garden with Curtis Sanford between the pipes. The B’s have won six straight, scoring 34 goals. Sanford, meanwhile, has played exactly 18:02 this season (stopping all three shots he faced!), missing extensive time with a groin injury.
To recap: Columbus goaltending this year has featured…
— Steve Mason, who is 3-12-1 with a 3.63 GAA and .875 save percentage.
— Allen York, a rookie sixth-round pick out of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
— Curtis Sanford, whose last NHL start was in Jan. 2009.
Also of note for tonight: Center Derick Brassard will draw back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch for the past two games. Brassard will play on the fourth line between Derek MacKenzie and Jared Boll, exactly where you want the sixth overall pick at the 2006 NHL Entry Draft to be playing.